Proposed Solar Tariff Moves Forward

Solar Tariff Proposal Makes it to the Next Round

This morning the members of the United States International Trade Commission (US ITC) unanimously decided that imported photovoltaic cells (PV panels) pose a threat to domestic solar panel manufacturing. This decision could result in a per-watt tariff increase on foreign-manufactured solar panels.

The US ITC will convene again on October 3rd to discuss tariff solutions and present recommendations to the president by November 13th. Ultimately, President Trump will make the decision.

What is the significance of this decision? Let’s go over the background.

Background you need to know

Under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, Suniva (a solar manufacturing company) filed a petition earlier this year with the US ITC to launch a global investigation into the potential threat of imported solar panels on the domestic solar manufacturing industry. Suniva filed this on the heels of bankruptcy and petitioned for a 40 cent per watt tariff and minimum price of 78 cents per watt on imported solar panels.

Suniva and SolarWorld, domestic solar manufacturers, hope for an import tariff to strengthen solar manufacturing in the United States. However, many view their petition as a plea for bailout and not as a remedy for industry improvement.

Potential impact

Although this tariff may temporarily help domestic solar panel manufacturers in financial trouble, the main concern is that the proposed tariff will increase the cost of solar panels significantly and severely hurt the solar industry here. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) commented that “Analysts say Suniva’s remedy proposal will double the price of solar, destroy two-thirds of demand, erode billions of dollars in investment and unnecessarily force 88,000 Americans to lose their jobs in 2018.”

Doubling the price of solar impacts, you, the consumer. The governors of Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, and North Carolina have voiced concerns about the proposed tariff and many solar manufacturers, senators, and House of Representatives members have asked for the petition to be discarded.

Our stance

Our mission is to provide solar solutions contributing to a sustainable, clean future, and our equipment is qualified by the Buy American Act. As America’s Original Solar Company® we think of our customers first. Anything that makes it more difficult for people to go solar who would like to, is not our choice.

What you can do

If you’re thinking about switching to solar energy, now is the time. We give you the power of choice.  Whether you want to contribute to the environment or just take back control of your electric bill, lock in your price today. Don’t wait until President Trump makes his decision this November. Don’t wait for politics, act now.

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