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Commerce Solar Trade Decision Adds Urgency to Industry Discussions

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WASHINGTON, DC — Today’s decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose new tariffs on solar modules from China threatens to derail the rapid growth of the U.S. solar industry, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).  Commerce will immediately impose countervailing duty tariffs ranging from 18.56 to 35.21 percent.  Equally troubling, Commerce issued a broad preliminary scope decision, although the Department indicated that it will continue to review comments on this issue.  After reviewing the decision, SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement:

“These damaging tariffs will increase costs for U.S. solar consumers and, in turn, slow the adoption of solar within the United States.  Ironically, the tariffs may provide little to no direct benefit to the sole petitioner SolarWorld, as we saw in the 2012 investigations.  It’s time to end this needless litigation with a negotiated solution that addresses SolarWorld’s trade allegations while ensuring the continued growth of the U.S. solar market.

“Over the past few months, SEIA has facilitated settlement discussions between Chinese solar manufacturers and SolarWorld.  The goal of these discussions is to develop an industry recommendation to help jump-start government-to-government negotiations.  Although we’ve succeeded in establishing direct communications between the parties—and are working with all segments of the industry to find a consensus solution—we’re quickly running out of time.

“It's time to get serious about resolving this ongoing dispute, before irreparable damage is done to the U.S. solar industry.  We’re strongly urging all parties to set aside their grievances; redouble efforts to find a solution that benefits all segments of the industry; and end this potentially costly and divisive conflict.”

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About SEIA:
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

Media Contacts:
Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President of Communications, kjohnson@seia.org (202) 556-2885 
Samantha Page, SEIA Press Officer and Communications Manager, spage@seia.org (202) 556-2886 

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