U.S. trade court reinstates bifacial solar exclusion under Section 201 tariffs

The U.S. Court of International Trade has reinstated an exclusion for bifacial solar modules from the Section 201 tariffs that was revoked by the Trump administration a year ago.

The court also took action Tuesday to reduce the Section 201 tariff rate from 18% to 15%.

The court concluded, “Proclamation 10101’s withdrawal of the exclusion of bifacial solar panels and increase of the safeguard duties on CSPV modules constituted both a clear misconstruction [of] the statute and action outside the President’s delegated authority.”

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, called the court’s action “the right conclusion.”

“We are committed to building the U.S. solar manufacturing supply chain and we believe there are policies in the Build Back Better Act that will help grow American manufacturing,” Hopper said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to get these critical policies, including Senator John Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, over the finish line.”

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Solar developers have warned that trade and supply chain issues threaten the Biden administration’s goal of solar producing 45% of the U.S. electricity supply by 2050.

But the Section 201 tariff revision, and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s rejection of a tariff petition by a group of anonymous domestic solar manufacturers, represent recent victories for the solar industry, according to SEIA.

A report released in September by SEIA and Wood Mackenzie found that solar prices increased quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year for the first time since Wood Mackenzie began modeling solar market prices in 2014.