Sunday, October 24

US trade officials delay decision on new solar tariffs

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The US Commerce Department on Wednesday asked a group of anonymous domestic solar manufacturers for additional information before it would consider a request to impose duties on panels produced in three Southeast Asian countries.

The move delays the department’s decision which had been expected this week.

US solar project developers have lobbied forcefully against any Commerce investigation into new tariffs, saying the probe alone would spook foreign solar producers and cripple one of the nation’s fastest-growing sectors.

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In a letter to the group’s attorney Timothy Brightbill, the department set an Oct. 6 deadline for the so-called American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention to respond to its series of questions.

One question asks members of the group to identify themselves.

The department said it would issue a decision within 45 days of receiving a response.

Brightbill did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The US Solar Energy Industries Association, the top US solar trade group, said it was disappointed that the department did not dismiss the group’s petition outright. (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Leslie Adler and Richard Chang)

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