Below is a press release from SolarWorld announcing its co-petitioner status in the Section 201 safeguards case:
SolarWorld Americas, the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar producer for more than 42 years, and Suniva have filed a joint letter with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) stating that SolarWorld is now a co-petitioner in the Section 201 safeguards case. Filed by Suniva in April, 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 has joined the case as the company plans for ongoing operations in a U.S. solar marketplace that remains highly distorted by state-sponsored overcapacity and exports from China and other countries.
“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.”
“The U.S. solar industry cannot afford to give away the future of critical renewable-energy manufacturing industries,” Stein continued. “We must take a stand in favor of preserving intellectual property, production know-how and U.S. manufacturing jobs, all of which have sprung from a vital industry pioneered on U.S. soil since the 1970s.”
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.
SolarWorld looks forward to the ITC’s review of the 201 petition, and it believes that the evidence clearly supports an affirmative finding that global imports have seriously injured the U.S. industry. SolarWorld also looks forward to the President’s ultimate decision on the petition, and it urges the U.S. government to impose a remedy addressing the harm that the global imports have inflicted on U.S. solar cell and module manufacturers and their workers. SolarWorld will make a remedy recommendation at the appropriate time in this proceeding.
SEIA responded with the following statement from president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper:
“The Section 201 case is a conversation about a sector of the solar industry, not just a particular company. We look forward to working with the International Trade Commission and all stakeholders to make sure that the broader solar industry can continue to thrive and build on the 260,000 Americans now working in solar.
“The potential damage to the solar industry as a result of this petition could kill many thousands of American jobs and put a stop to billions of dollars in private investment.”
Updated at 1:30 pm ET