ALL EYES ON SOLAR
TARIFF REVIEW: The U.S. International Trade
Commission will hold a hearing today to review the Trump administration's 30 percent tariff on imported solar
cells and modules. The solar industry is worried President Donald Trump will use the review as an opportunity to make the tariffs tougher, which would increase hardship on the industry, Pro's Eric Wolff reports this morning.
The Solar Energy Industries Association will tell the trade
commission this morning that the tariffs have already cost Americans thousands of jobs, swamping the protective benefits of the tariff, which was imposed early last year and is set to expire in 2021. In fact, an SEIA market impact analysis found the tariffs will cost the industry 62,000 jobs over those four years and slow deployment by 10.5 GW.
SEIA was alarmed by the administration's recent decision to reverse course on a key exemption it had granted only four months before, as well as recent comments by trade adviser Peter Navarro that Chinese solar panel makers were still exploiting U.S. trade rules. "Our fear, however, is that the administration will somehow make them harsher and not provide relief," Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of SEIA, told reporters Tuesday. She added the administration believes it has "unfettered discretion" on trade.
The other side: Suniva, which along with the now defunct SolarWorld USA originally asked for the trade investigation that led to the tariffs, argued in its brief that the tariffs have succeeded in reinvigorating U.S. solar manufacturing so it hopes the administration will get tougher