A US-based solar-panel components maker called Suniva filed a petition with the International Trade Commission (ITC) this spring, alleging unfair trade practices after the company declared bankruptcy. It was later joined in its petition by SolarWorld America, another US-based solar cell manufacturer. Today, the two companies pleaded their case (PDF) in front of the ITC and are asking for tariffs to be placed on solar-panel materials imported to the US.
Specifically, “the petition seeks a 40-cent-per-watt duty on imported cells and a 78-cent-per-watt floor price for imported modules,” according to E&E News. Panels and their components have been plummeting in price, and Suniva and SolarWorld say this is mainly due to cheap imports from China and Southeast Asia. The tariffs they seek would apply to solar panel components imported to the US from anywhere in the world, however.
“Quite simply, we need the commission’s help to save solar manufacturing in the United States,” Jürgen Stein, chief executive of SolarWorld Americas, said in testimony before the commission, according to The Washington Post. “Relief under Section 201 is our last hope.”