After the US International Trade Commission (USITC) ruled on September 22nd that the US PV industry is severely damaged, the US held a public hearing regarding relief measures on October 3rd to go over possible trade remedy measures. On the public hearing, there were still two sides holding completely different views – one side hopes to build a strong barrier to protect the US manufacturing industry and another side believes that the trade remedy measures are like shooting themselves in the foot.
On the public hearing, Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, suggested the US ITC to come up with strong trade remedy measures to defend the interests of the US PV industry. He believes that the implementation of a strong-enough remedy measures can make up for the damages that the US PV industry has suffered to ensure the long-term stability in the future. Other people with the same view also indicated that if the trade remedy measures are not thoughtful enough, the remaining US PV manufacturers will be eliminated as well.
On the other hand, Heinrich, a member of the Department of Energy, indicated that manufacturing is only a small part of the huge PV industry in the US. High tariffs or other remedies will only threaten tens of thousands of job opportunities. It’s like shooting themselves in the foot. SEIA also believes that the new tax rate should not surpass 50% for the “Section 201” case. Too high of a barrier will paralyze the high growth of the US PV industry and make tens of thousands of PV workers unemployed.
Three possible solutions have been projected by the industry previously: 1) impose high tariffs 2) minimum import price (MIP) 3) import quota limitation. Because both sides couldn’t stop arguing, the public hearing didn’t come up with a clearer direction. Next, ITC plans to vote on the remedy program on October 31st and submits it to President Trump on November 13th.
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