However, if Commerce determines that Chinese import prices have fallen faster than production costs, then, for purposes of calculating an importer’s final duty liability, Commerce will further increase the anti-dumping duties to account for China’s unfair trade practices, according to CASM. Moreover, Commerce, in the future, will review all Chinese solar products imported since Feb. 25, 2012, and set future duty rates based on actual prices and costs in that period.Similarly, according to CASM, anti-subsidy duties will increase between the preliminary and final determinations as a result of new illegal subsidies found by Commerce; as one example, it found that Suntech and Trina were not credit-worthy during periods when they received substantial loans. In addition, Commerce, in the future, is likely to investigate new subsidies, including Chinese government bailouts of its producers, CASM says. Tim Brightbill, a partner of the Washington, D.C., law firm Wiley Rein, will be the key presenter in the webinar. Brightbill, who specializes in international trade law and policy, also teaches as adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. “The risk to importers and purchasers of Chinese solar products is much greater than meets the eye,” Brightbill said. “We want to make sure that U.S. solar installers understand the legal implications, the potential liability and the financial consequences. In plain language, final duty liability for Chinese solar products imported remains a moving target, with final margins not determined for years after the imports actually occur.” “This is the first U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duty case ever filed in the renewable-energy sector, and so it is important for all parties to understand the law and the process involved,” Brightbill said. Led by SolarWorld, CASM contends the Chinese government has illegally underwritten its solar manufacturers’ export drive into the U.S. market, enabling them to sell at illegally dumped prices to seize U.S. market share. As a result, CASM argues, at least 13 domestic producers have closed plants, withdrawn from the industry or otherwise laid off U.S. workers, and the Chinese industry’s market share has soared to more than 50 percent in a matter of a few years. On a preliminary basis, Commerce also has issued anti-subsidy duties in CASM’s cases; it will issue a final determination on those duties on Oct. 9.
The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, founded by seven companies that manufacture solar cells and panels in the United States, has more than 220 employers of more than 18,000 workers who have registered their support for CASM's case. More than 85 percent are downstream businesses, such as installers. The founding manufacturers have plants in nearly every U.S. region, including California and the Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast and South. For details about CASM, go to www.americansolarmanufacturing.org; email media questions to firstname.lastname@example.org; other questions or comments may be emailed to email@example.com.