WASHINGTON, DC - As expected, the U.S. International Trade Commission today upheld the imposition of tariffs against Chinese and Taiwanese solar products, as part of a 2014 investigation into allegations of unfair trade practices. After the decision was announced, Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released the following statement:
Smart policies that support solar manufacturing will grow American jobs throughout the clean energy supply chain and ensure a robust domestic industry. Already, solar manufacturing employs over 29,000 Americans across more than 650 sites and has contributed to the solar industry's rise as one of the fastest growing economic sectors in America.
SEIA works to inform member companies, the public, and policymakers about the advantages of international trade in solar energy. We support and advocate for a fair and transparent global trading system. In order to accomplish these goals, SEIA monitors ongoing international trade disputes in solar photovoltaic products. In addition, SEIA supports international collaboration in order to prevent unnecessary or damaging trade conflict.
In the face of the current U.S-China solar trade dispute, SEIA has stepped forward to leverage its authority to help Washington and Beijing realize the sector is too important for the world’s energy security to jeopardize with more trade wars.
Increasing tension in the global solar industry threatens to slow the rapid deployment of solar energy products. Solar energy is a proven technology, and escalating trade conflicts will have broader implications as the world is on the cusp of widespread adoption of solar. Building consensus on government best practices, including acceptable forms of industry support, can help reduce trade barriers and ultimately increase the adoption of solar worldwide.
As countries look to strengthen their clean energy sector in the wake of the recession, many existing government programs and those under consideration have begun to include some kind of local content requirement. SEIA is monitoring the development of local content provisions and will work to decrease these trade barriers to strengthen exports of U.S. solar products.
Although used in small amounts, rare earth minerals and other critical minerals are an essential element to the development and manufacturing of solar technologies.