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Strong Reaction to Decision on Solar Manufacturing

Last week, the International Trade Commission voted unanimously that low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers.  This will allow the Trump administration to impose tariffs on panels, potentially doubling the price of panels made outside of the U.S.

Reaction from the decision came quickly, as the Solar Energy Industries Association, The Energy Trade Action Coalition, and NECA responded to the decision.

“The ITC’s decision is disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ. Foreign-owned companies that brought business failures on themselves are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments.  Analysts say Suniva’s remedy proposal will double the price of solar, destroy two-thirds of demand, erode billions of dollars in investment and unnecessarily force 88,000 Americans to lose their jobs in 2018.

“While we continue to believe that this is the wrong decision, based on Suniva and SolarWorld’s mismanagement, we respect the commission’s vote and we will continue to lead the effort to protect the solar industry from damaging trade relief. We expect to be front and center in the ITC remedy process, and in the administration’s consideration of this deeply-flawed case.

“As the remedy phase moves forward, I am determined to reach a conclusion that will protect the solar industry, our workers and the American public from what amounts to a shakedown by these two companies. An improper remedy will devastate the burgeoning American solar economy and ultimately harm America’s manufacturers and 36,000 people currently engaged in solar manufacturing that don’t make cells and panels.” — Abigail Ross Harper, CEO Solar Energy Industries Association.

“Solar energy is one of the most promising sectors in the American economy, providing good construction and manufacturing jobs and valuable products at a low cost to consumers. It’s been creating jobs for electricians who install utility scale and roof top solar systems around the country.  These are good, middle-class jobs that promote apprenticeship, community based hiring, and veterans. All this progress would be placed at risk if the government decided to cut off the cells and modules that form the basic ingredients of the U.S. solar supply chain.” — John M. Grau, CEO, National Electrical Contractors Association

“The ITC decision to find injury is disappointing because the facts presented made it clear that the two companies who brought this trade case were injured by their own history of poor business decisions rather than global competition, and that the petition is an attempt to recover lost funds for their own financial gain at the expense of the rest of the solar industry.

“ETAC will continue to fight vigorously during the remedy phase, encouraging Administration officials and Members of Congress to help ensure that no remedies are imposed that would threaten the solar industry’s ability to compete with other energy sources.

“Utilities, power co-ops, retailers, manufacturers and other large commercial users, along with conservative groups who have criticized federal solar subsidies, all agree that unwarranted tariffs would cause severe damage to the solar industry while setting a terrible precedent for future trade cases.

“Artificially raising the price of solar products would increase costs for solar power consumers and jeopardize tens of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs.” — Paul Nathanson, Spokesman, Energy Trade Action Coalition

 

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