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United States trade dispute on solar products from Thailand, Southeast Asia

Tara Abhasakun

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Projects in the United States might freeze over a recent dispute on solar panels imported from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Even though these countries supply the United States with about 80% of its solar imports, the United States’ Commerce Department is scheduled to probe whether the solar products are circumventing tariffs.

The probe is over whether Chinese manufacturers are circumventing tariffs by assembling their products in the four countries. The United States’ Solar Energy Industries Association’s chief executive officer said the dispute is a challenge to President Joe Biden’s efforts to support renewable energy.

“It’s just not a rational business risk to put product on the water and send it here when you don’t know what it’s going to cost when it gets here”.

The executive officer said this probe means very high stakes for the solar industry.

The department decided to probe trade on these products after a small manufacturer in California petitioned about the issue last month. The California manufacturer argues that Chinese manufacturers shift production to the four countries to avoid paying duties. The manufacturer’s chief executive said the Chinese government, and major Chinese producers, “simply refuse to trade fairly”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Bangkok Post

 

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    A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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