Together, they argued that the large numbers of crystalline silicon cells and panels imported into the United States had harmed American PV manufacturing firms and requested that the ITC levy a 40-cent per watt tariff on solar PV cells brought into the country and implement a floor price of 78 cents per watt.
Polysilicon is an essential raw material for solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity.
Solar stocks were on the move Friday after the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) ruled in a case, saying a flood of cheap, foreign solar panels is hurting U.S. manufacturers. The ruling has raised concern that the U.S. government will invoke Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 to impose anti-dumping tariffs, set minimum import prices or maximum import volumes. In New England, solar installers say they started stockpiling the panels even before the decision.
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OCI and Hanwha Chemical have been expanding their businesses to meet rising demand for solar panels and modules. Notably, Chinese manufacturers have been quick to not only produce solar panels, but bring these products to the US market.
The impact of the ITC's decision on the US solar industry will depend on the recommendations of the ITC and what remedy is ultimately imposed by President Trump.
By making solar less competitive, tariffs would threaten to stifle America's critical clean energy transition and extend the country's reliance on polluting energy sources that are fueling climate change. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the price of solar panels has fallen by more than 70% since 2010.