Large Majority of U.S. Solar Manufacturing Seeks Support to Save Manufacturing Jobs

solar manufacturing
A worker at SolarWorld Americas Inc., based in Hillsboro, Oregon, inspects a bifacial Bisun laminate before it is framed

Suniva, Inc. has notified the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) that it has amended its petition for a global safeguard under Section 201-202 of the Trade Act of 1974, to add SolarWorld Americas, Inc. as a co-petitioner. The 201 case could give President Trump broad powers to address the global surge of imports that has decimated the U.S. solar manufacturing industry.

SolarWorld and Suniva account for the vast majority of U.S. solar manufacturing production. This action unites the industry in its battle to protect and grow American manufacturing jobs, and provide greater stability in the ongoing efforts to insure the country’s energy security.

“Suniva welcomes SolarWorld to this important battle,” said Matt Card, Suniva’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations. “SolarWorld’s ongoing efforts to protect U.S. solar manufacturing are long and well-established, and we are pleased they are joining this latest effort with us, as our industry now speaks with one, unified voice,” said Mr. Card.

This action comes as the ITC has initiated its investigation into the petition for a global safeguard concerning crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules. “Without a global safeguard, the U.S. solar manufacturing industry will die and we will not only lose solar manufacturing jobs today, but also those future jobs that will come from investing in the solar manufacturing industry of tomorrow,” said Mr. Card.

Despite the impact of two sets of U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties against Chinese and Taiwanese imports, global imports of solar cells and modules have kept surging into the U.S. market. This surge mainly stems from substantial overcapacity added by Chinese-owned companies that located outside of China to avoid duties. The massive overproduction has led to the near-destruction of remaining solar producers in America. SolarWorld AG, SolarWorld Americas’ parent company, declared bankruptcy earlier this month, and while SolarWorld Americas is continuing to operate outside of bankruptcy in the United States, unrelenting global imports are seriously harming it and its workers.

“We have hoped and waited for serious proposals for settling the overall U.S. solar industry’s trade tensions with China, but we have received none,” said Juergen Stein, President of SolarWorld Americas. “Therefore, we have decided to join the case to pursue the best remedy available to us to restore fair competition in the U.S. market.”

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

1 Comment

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