On Friday, September 22, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“USITC”) unanimously determined that crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells and modules are being “imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury” to the domestic industry.
The petition was filed in late May 2017 on behalf of Suniva, Inc., (“Suniva”) and was later joined by a second U.S. producer, SolarWorld Americas Inc., (“SolarWorld”).
As a result of the affirmative determination the USITC will now turn to “remedy phase” of the investigation. In this phase, the agency is required to recommend to the President what action would be most effective in addressing the serious injury to the domestic industry and facilitating the industry’s efforts to make a “positive adjustment” to the import competition.
The statute permits the USITC to recommend several types of action, including but not limited to, an increase in or imposition of duties on the importation of the article, a tariff-rate quota on the article, or a modification or imposition of any quantitative restriction on the importation of the article. The agency is also directed to include in its recommendation the “type, amount, and duration” of the action but the duration may not exceed four years.
The USITC will hold a public hearing on October 3, 2017 concerning the appropriate remedy to recommend and will submit its report, including its remedy recommendation to the President by November 13, 2017.
The President will then have 60 days to take appropriate and feasible action.