Dozens of solar energy supporters from across the country gathered at the headquarters of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to rally for an end to solar tariffs. Clad in yellow scarves and holding sun balloons, solar workers called on the USITC to grant relief from the harmful solar tariffs.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC or Commission) pursues its mission in three areas of U.S. international trade:
- research and analysis, and
- maintaining the Harmonized Tariff Schedule
The Commission investigates and makes determinations in proceedings involving imports claimed to injure a domestic industry or violate U.S. intellectual property rights; provides independent analysis and information on tariffs, trade and competitiveness; and maintains the U.S. tariff schedule.
At the rally, Abigail Ross Hopper spoke about the unnecessary challenges these tariffs present for American families, urging solar workers to use social media and the power of their voices to compel action. “We must use our voices to show the White House that our jobs matter, every single one of them,” Ms. Hopper said.
After the rally, solar workers attended a hearing for the USITC’s midterm review of the tariffs.
Ms. Hopper testified before the USITC, citing new market analysis from SEIA that shows that the industry has lost more than 62,000 U.S. jobs and $19 billion in new private sector investment as a result of the Section 201 tariffs. In addition, for every job that the tariffs create, we lose 31 U.S. jobs and miss out on $10.5 million in unrealized economic activity every day.
SEIA and our allies took this opportunity to clearly demonstrate why the tariffs are a bad deal for American workers and business owners. In a press call earlier this week, Ms. Hopper warned of the possibility that the tariffs could get even worse if we don’t speak up now. 5Th Dec 2019 hearing will help to determine if changes are warranted to the current tariff structure.
At the same time, the Court of International Trade issued a decision that it will allow the bifacial module exemption to stand while the court case proceeds. In October, the U.S. Trade Representative attempted to remove the bifacial module exemption from the Section 201 tariffs without a notice and comment period. SEIA challenged this hasty decision and now the Court has agreed that the revocation should not go into effect until after it makes a final decision.
As we enter the new year and the Section 201 midterm review and bifacial module exemption cases move forward, SEIA will continue to fight for American solar workers and businesses. Misguided trade policy has had a devastating impact on the industry’s ability to reach its full potential. The solar industry cannot afford setbacks and roadblocks as we strive to usher in the Solar+ Decade and make solar 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030.
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