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Solar Industry Letter to Trump Administration on Long-Term Trade Policy

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On March 11, 2020, SEIA delivered a letter to the Trump Administration signed by more than 140 solar companies across the country, asking for continued economic growth opportunities in the advancement of mutual goals. The text of the letter is below, and you can download a PDF at the link above, which contains the full list of companies that signed on to this critical effort.

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the U.S. solar industry and the nearly 250,000 American workers it employs, we ask for your assistance in continuing economic growth in our sector. While our industry has grown tremendously in recent years, with your help, it can reach its full potential to the benefit of all Americans.

We are committed to working with the Administration and Congress toward our mutual goals, continued economic growth, job creation, and a revitalized manufacturing sector. We seek to grow U.S. solar demand and unlock private capital for large-scale solar manufacturing.

The U.S. solar industry touts many American success stories. We are a composition of metal formers in Alabama, machinists in Iowa, steel workers in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, construction workers in Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, and Michigan, engineers in Ohio, Tennessee, and Montana, along with the vast number of solar installers, shipping and logistics experts, and professional service providers in every state in the union. We are also thousands of small businesses, companies diversifying their product base or expertise, and American workers hopeful about opportunities in the new energy economy. When solar grows to represent 20% of power generation nationwide, we will have created more than 600,000 American jobs and $345 billion worth of private investment.

With respect to decision making on the Section 201 solar safeguard measure, we seek to work with the Administration to obtain the best path forward. For example, the tariffs could be moderated through: (i) country exclusions for Canada and Singapore; (ii) a refined bifacial panel exclusion to include American polysilicon and leverage the $10 billion in large-scale U.S. polysilicon manufacturing capacity; and (iii) duty-free treatment for solar cells. We believe this is a common-sense approach that would benefit the economy as the tariffs end over the next two years.

We also ask that you disregard calls for adverse changes to the tariffs—and avoid losing American jobs. The resulting economic damage and job losses from changes to the annual step-down rate or any extension of the tariffs would outweigh any modest gains associated with the new measures. Specifically, the new action would harm installers, engineers, designers, manufacturers, small businesspeople, and all those who work throughout the industry.

Thank you for considering this request and we stand ready to work with the Administration to grow the U.S. solar industry and our economy while creating a full solar value chain here in America.

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