“The dominance of China’s LONGi Green Energy Technology Co. Ltd. in supplying solar panels to the U.S. highlights the challenge authorities face in trying to eliminate alleged labor abuses from the country’s supply chains without smothering an industry that is vital to the Biden administration’s efforts to limit climate change.
LONGi, the U.S.’s top solar-panel supplier, is exposed to possible human rights violations through its supply chain. LONGi and its subsidiaries sent at least 21% of the shipping containers that carried solar panels to U.S. ports during the second quarter of 2021, according to research firm Panjiva. Including panels from another leading manufacturer that buys material from LONGi, the company could account for as much as 30% of recent shipments.
LONGi buys polysilicon, a key ingredient in most solar panels, from at least three producers that source their raw material from Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd., according to a recent report from the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University in the U.K.
Hoshine was hit with a U.S. import restriction in June after U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, said it found evidence that the company used forced labor at factories in China’s autonomous Xinjiang region, where Beijing is accused of suppressing Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. LONGi has denied the allegations and the Chinese government previously has denied that it is committing human rights abuses in Xinjiang.”
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Copley, Michael. S&P Global. 26 July 2021.