Economy

Trade Commission Says Cheap China Imports Hurt US Solar Firms

Trade Commission Says Cheap China Imports Hurt US Solar Firms”

But most of the rest of the solar industry fiercely opposes the levies, which independent analysts warn would drive up consumer prices and cause the number of annual solar installations in the U.S.to plunge.

The commissioners will in November recommend specific penalties, such as tariffs or price floors on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, the component of solar panels that generates electricity. The commissioners are statutorily required to make additional, separate findings for countries with which the USA has a free trade agreement. If so, the commission will recommend this fall whether the Trump administration should impose tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from overseas.

Suniva's US operations are based in Georgia, but the company's majority owner is in China. Only a fraction of American solar companies make the panels. President Donald Trump is considered sympathetic to imposing tariffs as part of his "America first" philosophy.

The four governors are from Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada and North Carolina, all of which were in the top 10 solar markets in 2016. Led by the Solar Energy Industries Association, the opponents say tariffs will raise the cost of solar panels and sink demand for installations, hurting the industry as a whole.

Suniva called the case a matter of fairness. During this period, global imports increased almost five-fold.

SolarWorld employs about 300 people in OR, down from 1,300 at the peak, Mr Brightbill said.

"After almost 30 factories have shut down in the wake of surging imports, the legacy of this pioneering American industry hangs in the balance", said Juergen Stein, CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas.

"Solarworld looks forward to rebuilding, ramping back up to full capacity and expanding to meet the growth in United States solar demand", he said.

Suniva and SolarWorld have themselves to blame for their struggles - not pressure from overseas, Hopper said.



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