On July 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) issued proposed rules implementing President Biden’s emergency declaration to provide temporary tariff relief on certain imports of solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Commerce has provided the public with a 30-day period to comment on the proposed rules.
If enacted in their current form, the proposed rules would provide meaningful relief and increased tariff certainty to U.S. importers of solar cells and modules from these four Southeast Asian countries. Specifically, under the proposed rules, Commerce will not impose tariffs during the emergency period established by President Biden on imports of solar cells and modules from those countries even if the products are found to be circumventing an existing antidumping (“AD”) or countervailing duty (“CVD”) order. The proposed rules do not affect tariffs on imports that are already within the scope of existing AD/CVD orders on solar cells and modules from mainland China or Taiwan, including in-scope modules that incorporate cells from mainland China or Taiwan but are assembled in a different country.
While the proposed rules would represent a positive development for foreign manufacturers, U.S. importers, and U.S. consumers, including the U.S. solar project development industry, if promulgated in their current form, changes to the rules are possible. It is therefore important for parties with a stake in Commerce’s pending circumvention inquiries to file comments by the August 1, 2022 deadline.