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CEO DATELINE – Solar association steps up campaign against tariffs

Dec. 6, 2017
By Walt Williams

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The Solar Energy Industries Association is recommending President Donald Trump take six steps “to maintain the solar industry’s booming growth,” largely by calling for the rejection of proposed tariffs on solar equipment produced in China.

Solar installations in the U.S. have boomed in recent years as a result of cheaper solar panels and equipment produced abroad, particularly in China. However, the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended in October that the U.S impose tariffs on solar imports, in large part because the Chinese government heavily subsidizes solar equipment manufacturers. 

Western solar equipment manufacturers like SolarWorld—which is based in Germany—have long complained that China engages in unfair trade practices that cost manufacturing jobs. SEIA and companies that install solar equipment counter that international trade has led to the explosive growth in solar energy use, and that tariffs threaten that growth.

SEIA’s America First Plan for Solar Energy calls on Trump to reject tariffs, “which would increase the cost of solar, sacrifice tens of thousands of American jobs and raise electricity prices for consumers and businesses.”

“Tariffs would jeopardize our economy, our national security and our workers,” SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said. http://bit.ly/2B5ruPI

Trump has not yet said whether he would implement USITC’s recommendations.

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