What happened here was this. To avoid the tariffs the Chinese moved the plants and slave labor force to other Asian countries.
The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) released a statement after the Department of Commerce sided with Chinese solar manufacturers after rejecting a request from U.S. domestic solar manufacturers to investigate illegal and unfair circumvention of trade remedies on Chinese solar cells and modules. The American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (“A-SMACC”) filed petitions on August 16, 2021 requesting that the Department of Commerce investigate unfairly traded imports from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam of solar cells and modules that are unlawfully circumventing antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duties on China. Last month, CPA urged the Biden administration to support U.S. domestic solar manufacturers and address China’s illegal circumvention.
“The Commerce Department’s unwillingness to investigate illegal circumvention by Chinese solar companies is a gift to the Chinese Communist Party that comes at the expense of American companies and American workers,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “President Biden promised to create 10 million green new jobs. Instead, this decision ensures that China’s use of Uyghur forced labor in Xinjiang to manufacture polysilicon will continue. The Biden administration claims to want to Build Back Better and boost U.S. domestic manufacturing. But a decision like this that only benefits the Chinese Communist Party is a serious red flag that the Build Back Better initiative is nothing more than a slogan.”
Last month, CPA released a statement after five Chinese solar companies—LONGi Green Energy, JinkoSolar, Trina Solar, JA Solar and Risen Energy—issued a statement in a blatant attempt to undermine the Biden administration’s trade enforcement actions and scare the U.S. solar industry into manufacturing a crisis.
Four of these Chinese solar companies were named in an explosive academic report that was released by the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region detailing the widespread use of Uyghur forced labour within the solar industry. The report found that the four largest solar panel suppliers in the world—JinkoSolar, JASolar, TrinaSolar and LONGi—all source from at least one polysilicon manufacturer that is implicated in Uyghur forced labour either through direct participation in forced labour schemes, and/or through their raw material sourcing.
Chinese solar companies, and a Washington special interest group funded by them, have been lobbying the Biden administration and Congress to remove the Section 201 solar tariffs on Chinese solar companies, prevent the Department of Commerce from investigating alleged circumvention of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on solar imports, and against the Biden administration’s actions aimed at Chinese solar companies’ use of forced labor in Xinjiang. Additionally, a group of 12 Senate Democrats recently sent a letter to the Department of Commerce parroting the talking points of Chinese solar companies and their trade association that lobbies on their behalf.7