SEMI Statement on Department of Commerce Findings in Solar Trade Case

Today the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its preliminary determination in one of the two pending trade cases regarding crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules imported from China.  The department announced that it will levy countervailing duties of between  2.9% – 4.73% percent in the subsidies case.  This follows the International Trade Commission’s preliminary injury finding in December 2011.  The Commerce Department is currently expected to make its preliminary determination in the dumping case on May 17, and it could also assess duties in that case.

While SEMI is not a party to these specific cases, we continue to urge that they proceed on a factual basis and not become politicized.

SEMI recognizes that global trade policies serve a fundamentally important function in the photovoltaic industry.  Many companies throughout the supply chain are highly dependent on exports and work with a range of customers around the world.  Indeed, international market opportunities are critical to the success of this industry.  As such, SEMI has long advocated for a strong, effective and enforceable rules-based international trading system that promotes free and open trade with all parties acting in line with their commitments.  We also urge governments to avoid retaliatory measures in trade remedy cases.

SEMI urges U.S. and Chinese leaders to begin a dialogue that goes beyond the narrow confines of the current antidumping/countervailing duty case and addresses the range of issues impacting solar PV.  More broadly, SEMI calls on trade negotiators around the world to work together on measures that would eliminate trade and investment barriers to solar energy. 

SEMI continues to strongly advocate for policies that promote the deployment of solar PV as an answer to energy challenges.  The findings of these cases may lead to significant price increases on solar PV systems.  This poses a serious challenge to the continued adoption of solar PV in the United States, where price is the single greatest factor in deployment of this technology.  Any major disruption to the growing deployment of solar PV will have a serious harmful impact on the global solar value chain, both upstream (materials and equipment suppliers) and downstream (installation and services).  The global challenge remains to continue the work to bring down the cost of solar worldwide and growing the industry and jobs, while also remaining faithful to the rule of law.

As a global association, SEMI provides a unique forum for companies from around the world to work together to lower costs, increase adoption and make solar competitive with other forms of energy.  We invite all interested parties to join us to discuss and pursue policies that are in the best interests of the industry, our customers and consumers.

About SEMI and the PV Group

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries, including semiconductors, photovoltaics (PV), LED, flat panel display and other industries. For more than 40 years, SEMI has served its members and the industries it represents through programs, initiatives, and actions designed to advance business and market growth worldwide.

The PV Group represents SEMI member companies involved in the solar energy manufacturing supply chain. Members provide the essential equipment, materials, services and products necessary to produce clean, renewable energy from photovoltaic technologies. The PV Group mission is to advance industry growth, support continuous efficiency improvements and promote sustainable business practices.

Association Contact:

Maggie Hershey
Senior Director, Public Policy
mhershey@semi.org

March 20, 2012