On October 31, 2017, the United States International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) announced its remedy recommendations for the Section 201 Investigation on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic (“CSPV”) Cells and Modules.
The Commission will send its report along with its remedy recommendations to the President by November 13, 2017. The President will then have 60 days to decide whether to provide relief to the U.S. industry, as well as the type and amount of relief.
Although not as severe as the initial remedy solutions proposal by Suniva and SolarWorld Americas, two commissioners (Irving Williamson and David Johanson) both recommend a 30% tariff on imported solar modules that would decline 5% per year over a four year period. Both commissioners also support a tariff-rate quota for solar cells up to 0.5 gigawatts, above which the 10% tariff would increase to 30%.
Commissioner Rhonda Schmidtlein recommends a 35% tariff that declines by only 1% per year over four years, and supports a solar cell tariff-rate quota similar to the previously mentioned remedy.
An alternative remedy was proposed by Commissioner Meredith Broadbent that she states “will not disrupt expected growth in CSPV demand but will help address the serious injury to the domestic industry.” Her plan includes an 8.9 gigawatt quota on CSPV module and cell imports that increases 1.4 gigawatts per year for four years. In addition, Broadbent recommends instituting an import license program in which revenues would be used to provide domestic development assistance for CSPV manufacturers.