NextEra Energy has reportedly asked the US Department of Commerce to either force an anonymous group of US solar companies to identify its members or to reject their requests to extend tariffs on imported panels.

The Bloomberg News Agency reported that in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, NextEra challenged claims filed by U.S. solar manufacturers against the Chinese bypass.

NextEra wants the department to reject nominations or force petitioners to resubmit and appoint members. NextEra questioned the retribution claims and said the company names do not meet the standard of proprietary treatment.

The limited companies have asked the Commerce Department to impose anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on a handful of producers of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules imported from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Unfair trade?

The group filed three petitions in mid-August through law firm Wiley Rein, asking the Commerce Department to investigate what it called “unfair trade imports” from the three countries .

The group said the circumvention of anti-dumping and tariffs on Chinese solar products had “hampered US industry, gutted our supply chains and endangered our clean energy future.”

The Commerce Department has 45 days to open an investigation based on the petitions, said Timothy Brightbill, a partner at the Wiley Rein law firm. He spoke to pv magazine shortly after the filing of the motions. He said a preliminary determination could be made in 180 days and a final determination in about a year. Any duty would be retroactive to the start of the investigation.

Brightbill said that “given Chinese control of the entire solar supply chain, retaliation is likely if their identity is revealed.” In such situations, the companies that make up the coalition “are permitted under US law to remain confidential,” he said.

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