On November 24, 2021, US International Trade Commission passed a suggestion to the USA government for the extension of Section 201. They recommended extending the time period for Section 201 global safeguard tariffs on photovoltaic (PV) cells and other solar modules. President Biden has to make a final decision and call an official verdict on the statement.
The USA imported PV cells from Vietnam the highest among all the top importing partners for solar cells, with an approximate share value of 93.66% as US dollars. We shall look at the list of top importing partners for PV cells and imports of the US in general for the reduction of carbon footprint, derived from our global trade database.
US Solar Cells Imports
As aforementioned, the USA imported the highest photovoltaic cells (or solar cells) from Vietnam with a high share value of 93.66% (approximately), followed by the Philippines with an approximate import value of 2.42%, Mexico with a share value of 1.86%, India with a share value of 1.2%, and Singapore with the least value of 0.5% imports.
According to a study by International Transport Forum (ITF), global freight transport, aka global trade is one of the biggest contributors to the carbon emissions in the environment, and is probably ‘one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise’. The USA aims to reform this situation. Harvard University stepping back on its own decision for divesting fossil fuels is a recent big highlight.
USA import data shown below represents the imports for solar cells in the taken time range of January 2020-September 2021. The time range is divided on the basis of three months, i.e., on the basis of quarters in both the years 2020 and 2021. Each quarter represents the amount of approximately counted import share value in the parallel column. The taken HS-Code classification for PV cells is 854140.
Evident from the shown US import data 2021, the highest imports for solar panels in the USA is in the first quarter of 2021, while the least imports are in the second quarter of the year 2021. However, it is duly noted that imports have increased by 3.1% in the next quarter (Q3-2021).
Quick Introduction To Important Terms
Section 201 — Section 201 refer to a section of the Trade Act 1974, pertaining to raising import duties, imposing non-tariff barriers on goods imported by any industry of the USA that threatens to injure the domestic economy by injuring the industries. The permission to grant temporary import reliefs can only be permitted by the President.
Global Safeguard Tariffs — WTO defines that any WTO member can opt for a “safeguard” action by putting temporary tariffs as import restrictions on any particular or a line of commodities that may cause an injury to the concerned domestic industry, or threaten to cause so. A country is allowed to impose import tariffs on a commodity if its imports are increasing and likely to create a harmful situation for the industry for which it is being imported.
US International Trade Commission (USITC) states their concern over the extension of Section 201 for creating employment opportunities in the sector (of manufacturing solar cells and modules). According to USITC, the extension of Section 201 on solar cells and their modules as global safeguard tariffs will bolster the production of such significant measures to reduce the carbon footprint in global trade.