Statement of Jigar Shah, President of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), in Response to the European Union Decision to Open a Trade Investigation into Chinese Solar Cell Exports
As in the US solar trade case, SolarWorld is seeking to institute trade barriers and tariffs to support its business at the expense of the majority of the solar market.
Today's European Union announcement initiating a trade investigation into Chinese solar exports to Europe represents the continuation of SolarWorld's efforts to utilize legal maneuvers to support their business objectives. As in the US solar trade case, SolarWorld is seeking to institute trade barriers and tariffs to support its business at the expense of the majority of the solar market. As in the US solar trade case, we note that many European solar companies oppose SolarWorld's self-serving maneuvers. We also note that many European political leaders are rejecting protectionism and are advocating constructive negotiations for resolving the current solar trade dispute.
Clearly, all global solar industry leaders, including major PV US and EU-based trade associations like SEIA, EPIA, and SEMI, want to see a constructive resolution to global solar trade issues. Just as in the US trade case, when the US solar industry rallied in opposition to SolarWorld's actions, the majority of EU-based solar companies oppose the imposition of harmful taxes on the global solar industry. The solar industry's growth, which results in adding jobs and infrastructure investment, is correlated to the reduction in solar system costs, and this cost reduction goal is undermined by SolarWorld's legal initiatives.
Unfortunately, as a result of SolarWorld's actions, the Chinese government is now pursuing a trade case against US manufacturers of polysilicon, with additional rumblings in other countries like India placing US jobs and capital investments at risk. The last thing the US and European solar industries need is the further escalation of a trade war in which there will be no winners. A solar trade war is bad for the American solar industry, bad for American jobs, bad for American consumers and bad for the global environment.