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Clean Technica: Energy Trade Action Coalition Formed To Combat Anti-Trade In Solar Industry

PMA mentioned in Clean Technica article. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A new coalition formed to combat imposing tariffs on imported solar products has been launched this week, the Energy Trade Action Coalition made up of a group of companies, associations, and organisations dedicated to fighting the trade petition including, surprisingly enough, two conservative groups, The Heritage Foundation and ALEC.

In April 2017, solar manufacturer Suniva, a Chinese majority-owned firm, declared bankruptcy, and filed a petition with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking a tariff on all imported solar cells and a price floor for nearly every imported panel. The petition was formally accepted in May, and the ITC began an ‘Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigation’ that it expects to conclude in September. Also in May, US solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld signed on as a co-petitioner to Suniva’s claim.

If the tariff and price floor are implemented, it is estimated that the US solar industry could face losing a third of its workforce, or an estimated 88,000 jobs, and could cut two-thirds of planned installations over the next five years.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, there are many against the ITC ruling in favour of Suniva. The newly-formed Energy Trade Action Coalition is representative of just how many are lining up against Suniva and SolarWorld, and is made up of trade associations, individual companies, and groups spanning a wide range of sectors — “utilities, co-ops, manufacturers, supply chain suppliers, solar companies/developers, retailers, local union workers, small businesses, venture capital groups, and conservative free-trade advocates.”

Interestingly enough, the Coalition includes two conservative policy groups — The Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — unusual in their inclusion given their normal opposition to renewable energy and their support of fossil fuel energy generation. Both groups have opposed renewable energy development in the past, but are now joining forces with renewable energy groups to specifically help the solar industry avoid any harm. However, these more conservative members of the Coalition have chosen to sign on because they are concerned with increasing protectionist policies that they believe will do serious harm to one of the country’s growth industries.

Read more here.