Sample Letter to Congress – Anti-Dumping Tariff Petition

Sample Letter to Congress – Anti-Dumping Tariff Petition

On March 28, the U.S. Department of Commerce initiated an investigation for circumvention tariffs on solar products from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, based on a petition from U.S. based Auxin Solar. This decision comes just four months after the agency rejected a similar petition that increased solar prices and threatened the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers.

This year long investigation is already having a negative impact on solar panel availability, because no importer will bring solar panels or solar cells into the U.S. and risk the imposition of a retroactive 50% – 250% tariff on products that represent approximately 80% of total U.S. module imports. If this case proceeds, it could lead to the loss of over 70,000 American jobs and closure of many thriving businesses across the U.S. in 2022 alone.

Because there is no domestic manufacturing to alleviate the pressure, solar panel availability is expected to become tight for the foreseeable future, putting small businesses and living wage jobs all across the country at risk.

We Need Your Help

Along with our partners at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Washington Solar Energy Industries Association (WASEIA), we are asking Congress to bring pressure on Commerce and the Biden Administration. It’s extremely important your member of Congress hears from you, urging them to insist on an acceleration of the review process as much as possible and an immediate end to this meritless case.

If you would like to send a letter to your members of Congress asking them to put pressure on the U.S. Department of Commerce to immediately dismiss the meritless anti-dumping tariff petition on solar panels, use this link to find your members of Congress. You can use the template and talking points below to draft your comments.

SAMPLE LETTER

Addressing the letter:

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable (Full Name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515

Members of the U.S. Senate
The Honorable (Full Name)
United Staes Senate
Washington DC 20515

Dear Representative or Senator (plus last name):

On March 28 the U.S. Department of Commerce initiated an investigation for circumvention tariffs on solar products from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This decision comes just four months after the agency rejected a similar petition that increased solar prices and threatened the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers.

If this case proceeds, it will lead to the loss of over 70,000 American jobs this year alone, including 15,000 domestic solar manufacturing jobs (according to a recent Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) survey). We also stand to lose nearly 21 GW (roughly equivalent to the power required for 3.99 million US homes) of solar deployment over the next four years, making it nearly impossible to meet President Biden’s climate goals. The threat of tariffs alone is already impacting the solar supply chain significantly and threatening thousands of small businesses across the country.

This case is particularly troubling because it fails on the legal merits. The countries involved have made massive investments in building solar cell and module manufacturing. Because of the significant and major work done in these countries, the case does not meet the standard for circumvention. And it is a serious flaw in our government’s structure when one company that produces less than 1% of the panels we use, can demolish an entire industry with one self-serving petition.

Additionally, it has been proven time and again that tariffs are not the right way to stimulate investments in American manufacturing. Instead, sweeping climate and energy legislation now being considered by Congress would include a long-term driver for American manufacturing. And the tariffs do not impact the countries involved, the burden of paying tariffs falls on the consumer, and all taxpayers through tax credits. Solar customers do not have the capacity to absorb these massive costs, and planned projects will not move forward, crippling the efforts to increase adoption of clean energy.

As your constituent, I am urging you to insist that Commerce accelerate the review process as much as possible and immediately dismiss this meritless case.

Respectfully,

Name
Address
Email or phone number

 

TALKING POINTS

  • The decision to initiate this case has the potential to devastate solar deployment and it runs directly counter to the administration’s and our industry’s climate goals.
  • It is a serious flaw in our government’s structure when one company that produces less than 1% of the panels we use, can demolish an entire industry with one self-serving petition.
  • This case is particularly troubling because it fails on the legal merits. The countries involved have made massive investments in building solar cell and module manufacturing. Because of the significant and major work done in these countries, the case does not meet the standard for circumvention
  • It has been proven time and again that tariffs are not the right way to stimulate investments in American manufacturing. Instead, sweeping climate and energy legislation now being considered by Congress would include a long-term driver for American manufacturing.
  • Fully 84% of all U.S. imports come from these four countries. Of those 80% would be subject to tariffs ranging from 50% to 250%. According to Wood Mackenzie, this will constrain U.S. supplies by 16 GW, or two thirds of all solar installed in 2021.
  • The investigation and threat of tariff with an unknown cap is worse than the tariff itself in most cases.
  • The burden of paying tariffs falls on the consumer – and all taxpayers through tax credits.
  • No importer will bring solar panels and cells into the U.S. and risk the imposition of a retroactive 50% – 250% tariff. 
  • Solar customers do not have the capacity to absorb these massive costs, and planned projects will not move forward.
  • If this case proceeds, it will lead to the loss of over 70,000 American jobs this year alone, including 15,000 domestic solar manufacturing jobs. We also stand to lose nearly 21 GW (roughly equivalent to the power required for 3.99 million US homes) of solar deployment over the next four years, making it nearly impossible to meet President Biden’s climate goals and Washington’s CETA clean energy targets.
  • The petition also runs counter to nearly a decade of existing Commerce precedent establishing the country-of-origin for a solar panel at the point of cell production.

For more information about the solar tariff investigation, read this article in Solar Power World Online.