The United States has notified the other 163 members of the World Trade Organization that it is considering imposing emergency “safeguard” tariffs on imported solar cells.
There is a global battle to dominate the solar power industry, which has grown explosively in the past five years. As production has increased, prices have fallen.
The United States, China and India are competing to be the market leader; last September, the WTO ruled that India was illegally discriminating against U.S. solar exports.
The United States’ ability to attract investment in renewable energy has been jeopardized by President Donald Trump’s energy policy, putting China and India above the USA.
Under WTO rules,temporary tariffs may be used to protect an industry from a sudden, unforeseen and damaging surge in imports. Other WTO members can challenge the tariffs.
The ITC will decide by Sept. 22 whether the U.S. industry has suffered “serious injury”.
Suniva’s petition for emergency import tariffs said the volume of imports rose by 51.6 percent between 2012 and 2016, while the value of those imports grew by 62.8 percent from $5.1 billion to $8.3 billion.