In a ruling highly anticipated and hotly debated in the solar industry, the U.S. International Trade Commission determined in a unanimous 4-0 decision today that foreign imports of solar modules caused “serious injury” to U.S. companies under Section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act. The determination concerns “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells (Whether or Not Partially or Fully Assembled Into Other Products).”
The Commission is expected to hold a hearing on October 3 to consider potential remedies and issue a recommendation to President Trump by November 13.
Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) responded via a press statement, arguing that potential trade barriers will raise the price of solar energy, reduce demand, chill private sector investment, and result in thousands of U.S. solar industry job losses. Looking ahead, Ross Hopper said:
“While we continue to believe that this is the wrong decision, based on Suniva and SolarWorld’s mismanagement, we respect the commission’s vote and we will continue to lead the effort to protect the solar industry from damaging trade relief. We expect to be front and center in the ITC remedy process, and in the administration’s consideration of this deeply-flawed case.
“As the remedy phase moves forward, I am determined to reach a conclusion that will protect the solar industry, our workers and the American public from what amounts to a shakedown by these two companies. An improper remedy will devastate the burgeoning American solar economy and ultimately harm America’s manufacturers and 36,000 people currently engaged in solar manufacturing that don’t make cells and panels.”
Here is brief recap of the timeline of the Section 201 case, and the proceedings we can expect in the days ahead: