Sherrod Brown

06/07/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/07/2024 17:41

At Brown's Urging, International Trade Commission Issues Preliminary Determination in Favor of Ohio Solar Manufacturers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the below statement, after the International Trade Commission issued its preliminary determination, finding, by a vote of 4-to-0, that material injury, or the threat of material injury, is present in the antidumping and countervailing duty case brought by First Solar and other American manufacturers on solar products from Chinese companies in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Ahead of the vote, Brown led the push for the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce to level the playing field for American solar workers, urging them to support American manufacturers in a set of antidumping and countervailing duty petitions filed by the American Alliance for Solar Manufacturing Trade Committee -which includes First Solar in Perrysburg.

"This vote is yet more confirmation of what Ohio workers already know: China cheats, and is doing all it can to undermine Ohio manufacturers like First Solar. The Biden Administration's misguided tariff pause allowed China to put its scheme in place to dodge tariffs the moment they were reinstated, and now it's on the Administration and the ITC to clean up that damage," said Brown. "I will continue to stand with Ohio solar manufacturers and their workers, and push the Biden Administration and ITC to do more to stand up to China's obvious cheating."


Brown has long been a leader in fighting for domestic solar manufacturers, including First Solar, which employs more than 2,000 workers in Northwest Ohio. In May of 2023, Brown led his Senate colleagues in voting to reinstate duties on illegally dumped Chinese solar panels. Prior to the vote, he took to the Senate Floor to urge his colleagues to vote in favor of reinstating these duties.

A 2022 report from the United States Trade Representative on China's compliance with the World Trade Organization underscored that the underlying economic reasons and market conditions for why the tariffs were imposed have not changed. In addition, a March 2023 report from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) showed that Section 301 and 232 tariffs led to significant increases in domestic production in the tariffed industries that were analyzed.

In May 2022, Brown originally called on President Biden to allow a Commerce Department investigation into whether Chinese companies were circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties to continue. The Administration heeded Brown's call and in December 2022, the Administration's investigation revealed that four leading Chinese solar-cell manufacturers circumvented U.S. tariffs by routing some of their operations through Southeast Asia. In March 2023, Brown urged President Biden to rescind the suspension of market-balancing tariffs on Chinese solar product importers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam to level the playing field for American manufacturers and workers and give them the opportunity to better compete in the global economy. In August, the Department of Commerce issued a final determination confirming that Chinese solar panel producers - operating in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam - are circumventing U.S. trade law meant to protect American businesses and workers by routing their products through Southeast Asia.