The International Trade Commission on Feb. 6 released its midterm report on developments within the industry producing crystalline silicon photovoltaic products since the president’s imposition of a safeguard measure on imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products.

The safeguard measure, in the form of a tariff-rate quota on imports of CSPV cells not partially or fully assembled into other products and additional duties on imports of CSPV modules that were phased down over a period of four years, was initially established Feb. 7, 2018, and was subsequently extended Feb. 4, 2022, for four more years.  

The report highlights a number of significant developments since the ITC’s safeguard extension proceeding, including:

- several announcements of plans to start domestic CSPV cell production in the near term;

- increased imports of CSPV cells and modules, particularly in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2022;

- a shift in imports from non-bifacial CSPV cells and modules toward primarily bifacial CSPV cells and modules (bifacial modules are excluded from the safeguard measures) from 2020-22 and when comparing the first half of 2023 with the first half of 2022, with bifacial cells and modules increasingly used in traditionally non-bifacial applications;

- generally increased prices for CSPV cells and modules;

- decreased employment in the U.S. CSPV industry from 2020-22, but higher employment during the first half of 2023 compared with the first half of 2022;

- implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, which has led to increased investments in domestic CSPV cell and module production; and

- an anti-circumvention inquiry by the Department of Commerce that led to a presidential moratorium on antidumping and countervailing duty tariffs on CSPV products imported from certain Southeast Asian countries.

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