The decision by the US Department of Commerce to impose new tariffs on solar modules from China threatens to derail the rapid growth of the US solar industry, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The Commerce Department will immediately impose countervailing duty tariffs ranging from 18.56 to 35.21%. Equally troubling, the department issued a broad preliminary scope decision, although it indicated that it will continue to review comments on this issue. After reviewing the decision, SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement:
“These damaging tariffs will increase costs for US solar consumers and, in turn, slow the adoption of solar within the United States. Ironically, the tariffs may provide little to no direct benefit to the sole petitioner SolarWorld, as we saw in the 2012 investigations. It’s time to end this needless litigation with a negotiated solution that addresses SolarWorld’s trade allegations while ensuring the continued growth of the US solar market.
“Over the past few months, SEIA has facilitated settlement discussions between Chinese solar manufacturers and SolarWorld. The goal of these discussions is to develop an industry recommendation to help jump-start government-to-government negotiations. Although we’ve succeeded in establishing direct communications between the parties—and are working with all segments of the industry to find a consensus solution—we’re quickly running out of time.
“It's time to get serious about resolving this ongoing dispute, before irreparable damage is done to the US solar industry. We’re strongly urging all parties to set aside their grievances; redouble efforts to find a solution that benefits all segments of the industry; and end this potentially costly and divisive conflict.”