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China Times: US Blocked Import of a Large Quantity of Chinese Solar Modules

Major Taiwanese news network China Times recently reported that, according to some U.S. federal customs officials and industry sources, since June, more than 1,000 shipments of solar modules worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been blocked and are piling up at U.S. ports. The blockage was implemented under a new law that bans imports of products from China’s Xinjiang region based on concerns about slave labor. The high number of seizures suggests the policy, aimed at pressuring Beijing over Uyghur concentration camps in Xinjiang, may even slow the Biden administration’s drive to decarbonize the U.S. power sector in response to climate change. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that none of these shipments have yet been returned. Based on federal laws that protect trade secrets, CBP will not disclose the manufacturer or provide details about the number of solar devices. However, three industry sources revealed that the seized products included solar panels and polycrystalline silicon solar cells, which could generate up to 1GW of electricity. The three Chinese manufacturers involved typically account for one-third of the U.S. solar panel supply. Industry sources said the companies have suspended shipments to the U.S. amid fears of more shipments being held up. According to a survey conducted by the American Clean Energy Association, solar installations in the United States plummeted by 23 percent in the third quarter and nearly 23GW of solar projects have been delayed, mainly because of the lack of access to solar panels.

Source: China Times, November 11, 2022