Ohio senators call for action against India's solar panel tariffs

Ohio Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownDems question potential Kushner real estate deal with Chinese firm The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick MORE (D) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanOvernight Finance: Senators spar over Wall Street at SEC pick's hearing | New CBO score for ObamaCare bill | Agency signs off on Trump DC hotel lease GOP senators offer bill to require spending cuts with debt-limit hikes Vulnerable Senate Dem: Border tax concerning for agriculture MORE (R) on Monday urged the Obama administration to challenge India’s recent decision to levy tariffs on U.S. solar panels.

Brown and Portman wrote a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael FromanOvernight Finance: WH floats Mexican import tax | Exporters move to back GOP tax proposal | Dems rip Trump adviser's Goldman Sachs payout Froman heads to Council on Foreign Relations Overnight Finance: Carson, Warren battle at hearing | Rumored consumer bureau pick meets Trump | Trump takes credit for Amazon hirings | A big loss for Soros MORE saying that the policy will hurt their state’s manufacturers and put them at a competitive disadvantage in international markets.

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"We write to express serious concern about recent action taken by the Indian government that will have harmful consequences for U.S. solar photovoltaic manufacturing facilities and effectively close the Indian solar market to American PV companies,” the senators wrote to Froman.

Brown and Portman have asked the trade office to address these issues with India and urge the government to reverse its decision before an Aug. 20 deadline.

“We urge you to engage the Indian government to reverse this action and to challenge their actions at the World Trade Organization (WTO) if they do not.”

They expressed concern about reports that the Indian government’s anti-dumping investigation disregarded data provided by U.S. manufacturers and used certain data to bolster the Indian industry in a way that may have violated WTO rules.

In a final determination, India recently decided to impose duties ranging from $0.11/watt to $0.48/watt against U.S. solar cell and panel products, which "would increase the price of U.S. exports to levels uncompetitive in the growing but fragile Indian energy market."

“Industry participants believe that this duty level would increase the price of U.S. module exports, making them uncompetitive in the highly price-sensitive Indian market,” the letter said.