On June 6, 2022, President Biden issued a declaration of emergency with respect to the availability of electricity generation capacity in the United States, and pursuant to this declaration, authorized the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to permit certain solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to be temporarily imported without antidumping duty and countervailing duties (“AD/CVD”) in response to an ongoing anticircumvention proceeding.
As background, U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) is currently conducting an anticircumvention inquiry into whether imports from these four Southeast Asian countries are circumventing the AD/CVD orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic (“CSPV”) cells and modules, i.e., solar cells and panels, from China. If Commerce makes an affirmative circumvention finding, solar cells and modules manufactured in these countries may be presumed to be subject to the China CSPV AD/CVD orders. Due to the possibility that high AD/CVD rates could then apply to these imports, many participants in the renewable energy industry were concerned that this investigation could adversely affect the U.S. solar industry, and negatively impact U.S. clean energy efforts. Questions about the retroactive nature of any tariffs that could be imposed through this anticircumvention proceeding due to the recently modified regulations also have caused uncertainty in the industry, which in turn led several market participants to announce suspensions of U.S. solar projects.