SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – A meeting held on September 25 was attended by officials from the Ministries of Trade, Industry and Energy and Foreign Affairs and representatives from the South Korean solar power industry to discuss potential repercussions from looming U.S. protectionist activity.
The meeting was held in the aftermath of the USITC’s (United States International Trade Commission) unanimous decision on September 22 that the surge in solar cell imports had incurred serious harm to U.S. companies.
The USITC will recommend the imposition of new tariffs and the raising of existing ones, as well as new restrictions on imports and tariff-rate quotas to President Trump on November 13.
The decision on which countries will face what measures will rest with Trump.
The prevailing view among solar power industry representatives at the September 25 meeting was that exports to the U.S. would take a hit regardless of what Trump decides. They emphasized the need for support and aggressive action from the government.
In addition, the attendees were in agreement that strategic responses made on a periodic basis would be necessary to ensure positive outcomes throughout the remaining time in which the U.S. pursues its investigation into solar cell exports.
One suggested course of action called for crafting a collaborative response with the U.S. non-profit SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) to stress that South Korean solar cells and modules are not competitive threats to U.S. industry products.
Ministry officials pointed out that South Korean exports are mostly comprised of hyper efficient modules intended for public utilities infrastructure like electric and hydro systems, while U.S. companies focus primarily on manufacturing modules for home use.
The central government announced that the meeting’s topics of discussion would be made into a report setting forth before and after scenarios. The report will be submitted at the next USITC meeting that is to be held on November 3.
The government added that it plans to diversify exports and grow the domestic solar panel market to prepare for U.S. trade restrictions.