US solar manufacturer vows hiring spree after win in trade case

US solar manufacturer vows hiring spree after win in trade case

A solar panel manufacturer petitioning the government for relief against cheap imports is promising to hire up to 200 workers following a win before the United States trade board last week.

SolarWorld Americas Inc. said Monday it would increase production and hire more workers by May amid a new debate over potential tariffs on foreign imports of solar panels.

SolarWorld and Suniva Inc. had asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to consider whether cheap imports of solar panels from countries like China had undercut the two U.S. producers.

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The ITC voted 4-0 on Friday in the manufacturers’ favor, and the board will soon submit potential remedies, including tariffs, to the White House for consideration.

“Our struggle has always been about keeping alive the pioneering U.S. solar-technology industry as well as its workforce, from Ph.D. scientists to line workers,” Juergen Stein, the CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas, said in a statement.

“With relief from surging imports in sight, we believe we can rev up our manufacturing engine and increase our economic impact.”

Installers, solar energy industry groups and their supporters have warned that penalties on imported panels could threaten historically low solar power prices and put the industry’s speedy growth at risk.

SolarWorld’s German parent company filed for insolvency in May.