First Solar to support trade case petitioners Suniva and Solarworld, GTM

First Solar CdTe thin film manufacturing in Malaysia.

US module manufacturer First Solar, Inc »broke rank« with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and filed a letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to support Suniva Inc. and Solarworld America Inc. regarding the Section 201 trade case, according to consultancy GTM Research. First Solar's cadmium telluride thin-film products are exempt from the Section 201 trade case. However, according to GTM, in its letter to the ITC, First Solar argues that, »like Suniva and Solarworld Americas, it was negatively impacted by imports of crystalline silicon PV products in 2016. U.S. solar manufacturers need protections from these foreign imports, and an effective remedy can exist along with continued growth in U.S. solar demand.«
In May 2017, Suniva and Solarworld America filed a petition with the ITC seeking relief from foreign manufactured crystalline PV solar products. They are demanding that all crystalline solar cells and modules imported into the USA should be subject to an import duty.
In September, the ITC voted that imports of crystalline silicon solar cells are »cause of serious injury to the domestic industry«. ITC has thus initiated the second phase of proceedings based on the petition. SEIA President Abigail Ross Hopper called the vote »disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ«. The petition could more than double the cost of solar and put more than 80,000 U.S. jobs at risk, says SEIA.
The ITC will issue recommendations for a proposed remedy by November 13. President Trump will have 60 days to make the ultimate decision.

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