For the record, the solar trade association did identify itself to government officials, but not the general public. This Oct. 13 report corrects that.

The Reuters news agency reports that
In a letter filed with the Commerce Department on Wednesday, a U.S. solar group seeking duties on Chinese firms’ imports of panels produced in Southeast Asia named its members but requested to preserve public secrecy, citing fears of reprisal by Beijing, federal trade authorities.

There has been a long-running conflict between the tiny domestic solar manufacturing business in the United States and a much bigger number of U.S. solar project builders about Asian imports, and A-lawsuit SMACC’s represents the latest development in that conflict.

American producers are keen to eliminate cheap import competition, but installers must rely on low-cost imports to be successful.

Imports from countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are being investigated by the Commerce Department because the group believes Chinese businesses have moved manufacturing there in recent years to avoid paying tariffs on solar cells and panels manufactured in China.

As recently as last month, the Commerce Department postponed making a judgment on the request, instead requesting that the group name all of the individuals who were involved.

The organization named its members in its response to the department, but their identities were omitted from the document’s public release.
By making its members’ names public, they feared that the Chinese solar industry, which dominates global supply chains and could shut off supplies of crucial components like polysilicon, would punish them.

A-SMACC members’ identities would be compromised “substantially” if Commerce agreed with the organization and imposed a trade remedy, according to the petition.

New tariffs have been fiercely resisted by domestic solar project developers, who represent the majority of the business, on the grounds that they would cripple a sector crucial to the Biden administration’s climate ambitions.

SEA, the nation’s biggest solar trade association that opposes tariffs, claimed it was “leading the road to an American solar manufacturing future” and urged the Commerce Department should drop the lawsuit.


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