This coming Tuesday, August 15, 2017 employees of Solar Energy World, the number 1 residential solar company in Maryland, will head to Washington DC to join hundreds of other workers in the industry from all over our country in an effort to save US solar jobs.
A complaint filed with the International Trade Commission (ITC) by bankrupt solar panel manufacturers Suniva, Inc. and SolarWorld this past spring requests presidential action under the Tariff Act of 1974. This petition blames increased pricing pressure from foreign product imports for their bankruptcies and calls for protection for American solar panel manufacturers in the form of tariffs that would effectively double the price of imported solar panels, according to the Financial Times.
Paradoxically, Suniva and SolarWorld are not American owned companies. Suniva is majority owned by a Hong Kong firm and SolarWorld is a German company. So if they win the case, these two, non-American companies could help to put many American-owned solar companies out of business.
The request has stirred growing opposition from a variety of groups concerned that if implemented, the new tariffs would raise the price of solar panels by approximately 100% and put domestic jobs in jeopardy. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) leads the fight and maintains the belief that the US solar industry would suffer much more than it would gain from such extreme measures. A recent study by SEIA found that an estimated 88,000 jobs, about one-third of the current American solar workforce would be lost if the trade protections proposed in the petition are granted.
Even traditionally conservative groups like The Heritage Foundation, The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) have come out against the recent petition to urge the administration to refuse the introduction of trade barriers.
These organizations oppose the proposition due to the fact that the plaintiffs failed to show that a rising level of imports caused them serious injury leaving them unable to compete in the U.S. market and are calling for the ITC to dismiss the case altogether.
Solar Energy World invites our customers, friends and supporters of the American solar industry to join us and hundreds of solar workers at the protest. If this interests you, please go to www.SEIA.org for the latest information.
By Sharon Derby