USA - The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) – a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the interests of 4.1 million households across the United States – has joined domestic solar cell and module manufacturers’ calls for fair competition in the U.S. solar market through the imposition of Section 201 trade relief, according to trade-case co-petitioners SolarWorld Americas (www.solarworld.com) and Suniva.
CPA has sent a letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), urging the agency to reach an affirmative determination in the Section 201 case and find that global production overcapacity has fueled a surge of solar imports to the U.S. market, which has seriously injured the domestic solar-panel manufacturing industry, SolarWorld Americas and Suniva say.
CPA “is working for a new and positive U.S. trade policy that delivers prosperity and security to America, its citizens, farms, factories and working people,” according to its website.
“We believe America can provide good jobs for workers, affordable goods for consumers, opportunity for farms and manufacturers and a clean environment without compromising our national sovereignty and security.”
The organization’s letter says its members “know all too well the severe impact that destructive import surges can have on domestic manufacturers, their workers and economic growth. Global overcapacity is a major challenge across the world as some countries engage in strategies to overproduce, under consume and excessively rely upon deficit country consumers (such as the US) for their economic growth.”
“Thousands of workers have lost good paying U.S. jobs as a result,” the letter says. “That these severe effects occurred during a period of booming U.S. demand, and despite two successful solar trade cases, is all the more troubling …”
Nearly 30 U.S. solar-panel producers ceased manufacturing operations from 2012 to 2016, the period of investigation in the case. During this period, global imports increased nearly five-fold. This surge was led by China, whose imports rose by more than 700 percent, according to ITC data.
Four commissioners of the ITC will vote on Sept. 22 whether imports have caused, or threatened to cause, serious injury to the domestic industry. If at least two vote affirmatively, the ITC will proceed to the remedy phase of the investigation.