Commerce Department Solar Tariff Decision Already Hurting U.S. Solar Manufacturers

CASE Highlights Two U.S. Companies Facing Financial Pressure, Plant Closures and Job Losses

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Department of Commerce's recent solar tariff decision will not only raise the cost of solar imports, but will also harm U.S. solar manufacturers. This decision threatens companies such as Suniva, which manufactures solar cells in the U.S. while assembling modules in China, and Hemlock Semiconductor, which last week announced it is closing down its Clarksville, Tennessee facility for solar silicon production due to international trade disputes.


In response to this news, Jigar Shah, President of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) released the following statement:

"Imposing unilateral tariffs on all solar modules assembled in China, including those with solar cells produced in the U.S., Taiwan or any third country, will undercut the growth of American solar jobs and hurt our domestic solar industry.

"Suniva, based in Norcross, Georgia, is America's leading solar manufacturer. But the Department of Commerce's decision to broaden the scope of the case may put American companies like Suniva in the bizarre position of paying severe import duties on a product (PV cells) they manufactured in America when those cells are assembled into modules in China.

"More drastically, Hemlock Semiconductor announced that it plans to close its Clarksville, Tennessee manufacturing plant due to ‘ongoing challenges presented by global trade disputes.' Over $1.2 billion of investment and 50 jobs will be lost, in addition to the 400 jobs already lost to layoffs in 2013 as a result of the initial 2012 tariffs.

"Given the global threat of climate change and the recent U.S.-China commitment to reduce carbon emissions, it makes absolutely no sense to impose unproductive tariffs on solar imports that also damage U.S. solar companies.

"We continue to urge the governments of the U.S. and China to accelerate negotiations to preserve free and fair trade in the global solar industry. Affordable solar panels are a good thing for the U.S., China, and the world."

For more information about CASE or to join the majority of the U.S. industry in opposition to additional solar tariffs, please visit us at www.affordablesolarusa.org.

Contact:
Steven Kirsch
skirsch@podesta.com
202.879.9320

About the Coalition for Affordable Energy (CASE):
CASE is a 501(c)4 organization whose purpose is to educate the Administration, Congress, the American solar industry and the public about the impact of protectionism on the affordability of solar energy and the American workforce. Its primary focus is to show decision, policy, and opinion-makers that the majority of pro-solar Americans oppose the SolarWorld petition, as it will result in the denial of affordable solar energy to a nation whose demand for clean and renewable energy is higher than ever before

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