Skip to main content

Commission Upholds Trade Tariffs On China, Triggering Setback For U.S. Solar Industry

Wednesday, Jan 21 2015

Share
By
Rhone Resch

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.  While it was the news we expected, it was not the news we wanted.

Without question, this decision represents a clear setback for the U.S. solar industry.  Yet despite punishing tariffs, and the market uncertainty they have created, our industry has been able to persevere so far in the face of needless and counter-productive litigation.  U.S. solar manufacturing and services jobs continue to grow, while solar prices continue to fall. 

But consider how much better, and stronger, the U.S. solar industry would be doing without  hundreds of millions of dollars in added tariff costs.  In all likelihood, the industry would be well ahead of its goal of installing 10 gigawatts (GW) of new solar annually.  We’d also see a robust and growing U.S. polysilicon industry, shipping billions of dollars in exports and benefitting our economy.  Instead, we’re now faced with U.S. polysilicon plant closures and layoffs.  And through it all, SolarWorld has gained little to nothing from its short-sighted litigation. 

There is, however, a clear path forward – one which will help SolarWorld, restore U.S. polysilicon, and boost the U.S. solar industry overall.  That path involves a negotiated solution, recognizing broader industry interests.  We’re not talking about an unrealistic minimum price regime or unreasonable quotas – and certainly not a two-tiered minimum pricing scheme.  Rather, it’s a solution which addresses U.S.-China competitiveness concerns, directly benefits U.S. solar cell and module manufacturers and allows the broader U.S. solar industry to reach its full potential.  The SEIA settlement proposal, or U.S. solar manufacturing fund concept, represents that smart path forward.  It’s time to turn the focus from litigation to negotiation.  We remain convinced that a fair settlement is still possible.

Article Type

Related News

Friday, Aug 05, 2022

Arizona Businesses Press for Final Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 90 Arizona solar and storage businesses sent a letter to Senators Krysten Sinema and Mark Kelly today lauding the potential impact of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on the state’s clean energy economy and urging Congress to pass the transformative legislation.

Read More
Wednesday, Jul 27, 2022

Solar and Storage Industry Statement on Reconciliation Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. —   Following is a statement from SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper on the reports of a reconciliation deal between Senator Manchin and Leader Schumer:

Read More
Wednesday, Jul 27, 2022

Solar and Storage Industry Commends Energy Dept. for Targeted Actions to Expand Community Solar

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following is a comment from Sean Gallagher, vice president of state and regulatory affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) on the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to expand community solar:

Read More