To protect local solar manufacturers, Jigar Shah, President of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), released a statement. He claimed that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) solar tariff decision will not only raise the cost of solar imports, but will also harm U.S. solar manufacturers.
Suniva and Hemlock Semiconductor are threatened companies under DOC’s tariffs, stated Shah. Suniva manufacturers solar cells in the U.S. while assembling modules in China, and Hemlock Semiconductor announced plans to close down a solar silicon production facility due to the trade disputes.
“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,” said Shah in the statement. “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.”
Hemlock Semiconductor announced that it plans to close its Clarksville, Tennessee manufacturing plant due to “ongoing challenges presented by global trade disputes,” which translates into loss of over USD$1.2 billion of investment and 50 jobs -- 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,” concluded Shah.