FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denver, CO. (November 10, 2017) – Last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced a split remedy recommendation for the Section 201 trade case. The recommendation stems from a petition brought under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 by a bankrupt U.S. solar manufacturer with a Chinese majority owner.
The Commissioners proposed a wide range of remedies that could unnecessarily increase the price of solar. The proposed tariffs range in severity, the most severe coming from Commissioner Schmidtlein who proposed a 35% ad valorem tariff on all imported solar modules declining to 32% over four years.
Commissioners Williamson and Johanson jointly proposed a 30% ad valorem tariff on all imported solar modules declining to 15% over 4 years. Finally, Commissioner Broadbent proposed the establishment of an import license auction, the proceeds of which could be directed specifically to American module manufacturers; the import license could generate $131M in direct support to American module manufacturers.
We are pleased to see the recommendations weren’t as extreme, and potentially illegal, as what the petitioners initially proposed. However, we need to reiterate that all the proposed remedies increase the cost of solar for all Americans. Trade barriers, such as those proposed, needlessly make solar more expensive at a time when we are seeing record low prices that make solar cheaper for consumers and provide benefits for the global environment. The US solar industry employs more than 260,000 Americans – including 5,000 in Colorado. Trade penalties would put these jobs at risk.
In fact, trade Commissioner Meredith Broadbent noted in her recommendation that large trade tariffs would equate to a “major market disruption” adversely impacting the US solar industry: “I am firmly of the view that damaging the domestic consumers, installers, and manufacturers supporting CSPV deployment is not an effective way to save domestic producers of CSPV products.”
As the Commission’s recommendations make their way to President Trump for final consideration, we join many of our industry peers, including large utility companies, in advocating voraciously against any unnecessary and destructive trade barriers, and we need our elected leaders and economic development professionals to stand with the solar industry in advocating for implementation of remedies that are constructive in growing the entire U.S. solar industry – construction, development, manufacturing, electrical contracting, and all of the many good jobs that come from solar energy.
About Clean Energy Collective
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through medium-scale solar PV facilities accessible to all utility customers, and today is the nation’s leading developer of community solar solutions. Since establishing the country’s first community-owned solar array near El Jebel, Colorado in 2010, CEC has built, or has under development, more than 175 RooflessSolar™ projects with 33 utility partners across 15 states, serving thousands of customers, and representing more than 440 MW of community solar capacity. CEC is also the leading provider of community solar software and services to the utility, development and financial industries through its Community Solar Platform™. www.cleanenergyco.com.
Tom Hunt, CEC
(720) 360-3037 firstname.lastname@example.org
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