Energy & Environment

Lawmakers back US solar manufacturer in tariff fight

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Two lawmakers are supporting calls for a federal study into potential tariffs on imported solar panels. 

In a letter to regulators, Reps. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) and Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) said they support an American solar manufacture’s call for a tariff on some solar panels after a “surge of cheap imports” from China and Asia that “has devastated the U.S. industry.”

The imports, the members wrote, have hurt American solar manufacturers, caused job loses in the industry and caused two large manufacturers to file for bankruptcy. 

“The bankruptcy of major producers in the industry satisfies any definition of injury,” the members wrote in a March 25 letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), provided to The Hill on Tuesday.

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“As the commission evaluates the facts, we hope that it will be unquestionably clear that global imports have seriously injured our domestic solar manufacturing industry.”

Georgia-based Suniva — which has facilities in both Kildee’s and Woodall’s districts — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proaction in April, saying increasing solar panel imports had hurt their business. 

The company asked the ITC to consider imposing tariffs on those imports and instituting price floors for up to four years.

SolarWorld, a German firm with a factory in Oregon, joined that ITC petition on Thursday, and the U.S. told the World Trade Organization on Monday that it would investigate the matter.

Tags Georgia Michigan Rob Woodall solar Solar power Suniva

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