The fate of the U.S. solar industry is now (at least somewhat) in the hands of President Donald Trump. By Jan. 12, 2018, he must decide what action, if any, to take against overseas solar panel manufacturers whose imports are damaging their domestic competitors.
After finding that foreign-made panels are injurious to U.S. manufacturers, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) recently announced the remedies its commissioners are proposing to the president. However, President Trump has full discretion to accept, reject or modify those recommendations.
As discussed in detail in a July 20 alert, “Suniva’s Solar Panel Trade Action and Its Impact on the Industry,” in April, 2017, Georgia-based solar panel manufacturer Suniva Inc. filed a petition with the ITC pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. SolarWorld Americas Inc. later joined the case. Both companies allege they have faced financial hardship as a result of foreign competitors inundating the market with less-expensive panels. The ITC agreed — finding unanimously on Sept. 22, 2017, that the increased quantities of foreign solar panel imports are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic solar panel manufacturing. Now the commissioners have announced their remedy recommendations, which are more moderate than those sought by the petitioners.
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