American solar manufacturers up in arms against SolarWorld campaign

By Editor


American solar manufacturers up in arms against SolarWorld campaign

Greentech Lead America: American solar makers – Dow
Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor, GT Advanced, MEMC, REC Silicon, and Suntech
America – are opposing SolarWorld’s campaign to increase tariffs on imported
Chinese solar cells.

These manufacturers said free trade and global competition
are good for the American solar industry and American jobs. The companies
represent over 3,000 American jobs in every major region of the country,
including states such as Arizona, California, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire,
Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

“Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor are among the
leading suppliers of polysilicon and other key solar materials that power solar
innovation. We believe that the trade case brought against Chinese solar
manufacturers by SolarWorld could undermine the solar industry’s significant
progress at the very moment it is poised for success,” said Robert D. Hansen,
president and CEO, Dow Corning.

“Ultimately, the protectionism that SolarWorld is
encouraging fosters dependence and high-cost business models, rather than the
agile approaches that are most successful in global competition. Now is the
time for the U.S. solar industry to move forward with creating American jobs
and enhancing our energy security. We are proof that American solar manufacturing
can compete without special protections,” said Tom Gutierrez, CEO of GT
Advanced Technologies.

“Tariffs are not in the best interest of American
solar manufacturing, the American solar industry, or American solar consumers.
We are concerned about the increased likelihood that China will retaliate with
their own unilateral tariffs on polysilicon exports from U.S. producers such as
REC Silicon. No one benefits in a global solar trade war,” said Tore
Torvund, CEO of REC Silicon.

“It’s clear that the vast majority of the American
solar industry opposes SolarWorld’s crusade to tax its competitors at the
expense of the American solar industry. SolarWorld certainly doesn’t represent
the bulk of American solar manufacturers, much less the American solar industry,”
said Jigar Shah, President of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy.

On May 17th, the U.S. Department of Commerce is expected
to announce a preliminary ruling as to whether to raise additional tariffs on
American companies that import solar cells from China.

The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), a
coalition of American solar companies representing 97 percent to 98 percent of
the U.S. solar industry jobs, believes free trade and industry competition are
critical to making solar electricity affordable for everyone.

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