U.S. International Trade Commission Finds Domestic Solar Manufacturing Companies Harmed by Foreign Imports
The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a determination at the end of 2017, finding that solar panel imports are hurting domestic businesses that operate in the solar industry. The ITC’s determination was issued in connection with a trade case filedby a Georgia-based company, Suniva, Inc., shortly after filing for bankruptcy protection. SolarWorld Americas, Inc. joined Suniva’s petition. Suniva and SolarWorld Americas seek tariffs of 40 cents per watt on imported cells and a floor price of 78 cents per watt on modules, asserting that tariffs and price minimums are needed to allow the American solar manufacturing industry to compete with less expensive foreign imports.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (“SEIA”), the industry’s leading trade association, the U.S. installed a record-breaking 14,762 megawatts of solar power in 2016, a 97 percent increase from 2015, and the price for solar photovoltaic systems fell nearly 20 percent in 2016. According to SEIA’s estimates, imposing the requested tariffs could destroy 88,000 U.S. jobs in installation, sales and construction in the solar industry in 2018, and the utility-scale solar market could see jobs shrink by 60 percent.
Even prior to Friday’s ITC determination, the U.S. solar industry had begun exhibiting the effects of the pending trade case. Prices for solar panels have increased in the last few months because of buyers’ rush to get ahead of potential tariffs and solar-farm developers’ concerns about long-term commitments to supply power at prices that could become uneconomical if tariffs raise their costs.
U.S. International Trade Commission Finds Domestic Solar Manufacturing Companies Harmed by Foreign Imports: Dykema
The ITC’s press release regarding the decision can be viewed here.