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U.S. Workers Lose Out in President's Decision on Solar Tariffs

01.23.18

STATEMENT RELEASED JANUARY 23, 2018

“Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) is incredibly disappointed in the high tariff level imposed yesterday by President Trump on imported solar cells and modules in the Section 201 trade case,” said George Hershman, President of SRE. “The 30 percent tariff imposed on imported solar panels, with an annual reduction of 5 percent each year of the four year tariff and only a 2.5 gigawatt (GW) exemption per year of imported cells, will have serious consequences for our growing solar industry and impact hardworking Americans. Unfortunately, the actions of two failing companies – Suniva and SolarWorld – will have repercussions for the growing utility and commercial solar sectors and reverberate across the entire value chain.”

President Trump did show some restraint by not proposing more severe tariffs, as requested by the petitioners. These tariffs will also do nothing to help the petitioners, Suniva and SolarWorld.  SRE is disappointed that these two bankrupt companies, including their foreign owned investors, chose to put the entire solar sector at risk by bringing a third trade case that will only jeopardize thriving US manufactures, impact thousands of installers and provide little incentive to grow a cell and module manufacturing sector here in the United States. 

Though this decision is shortsighted and will have a negative economic impact on the solar workforce and investments industry-wide, SRE was pleased to hear that Ambassador Lighthizer and President Trump remain committed to working towards a solar trade settlement with China.  This is the best path forward for the over 260,000 workers and hundreds of companies in the US solar industry.  We fully support this effort and remain confident that the solar sector will emerge from these trade disputes.    

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