Sanford Leads Letter to ITC Opposing Tariffs That Would Harm the Solar Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - Last week, Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC) joined Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) in leading a bipartisan group of 69 Congressmen in a letter to Chairman Rhonda Schmidtlein of the US International Trade Commission, urging her not to issue new import tariffs on the domestic solar panel industry.
Rep. Sanford released the following statement:
“There are no free lunches in life, and often times, the tariff protections that people talk about for a whole host of industries are taxes that hurt people. Tariffs are just a fancy word for taxes, and we’re simply asking that taxes not be raised on solar panels, which would ultimately drive up the costs for consumers.”
Full text of the letter is below:
The Honorable Rhonda K. Schmidtlein
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20436
Re: Investigation TA-201-75
Dear Chairman Schmidtlein:
We are writing to you to express concern with the pending Section 201 global safeguard case regarding solar cell and module manufacturing in the United States. The petition requests that the President impose a 40 cents per watt tariff on imported solar cells and a 78 cents per watt floor price for imported solar modules. As part of ITC’s investigation, we urge you to carefully consider the negative impacts the proposed trade remedies would have on the entire American solar industry.
Last year, solar was the single largest source of new electric generating capacity in America. At the end of 2016, 9,000 companies employed over 260,000 American workers with a median wage of $25/hour. We are concerned that the requested trade protection would sharply increase the price of solar panels which could lead to a negative impact across the whole solar industry. The increased costs could slow or even stop solar growth, jeopardizing billions of dollars in investment in communities across the country. Moreover, it is projected that the new tariffs could lead to a loss of 88,000 American solar jobs next year.
We respectfully request that the Commission carefully and fully consider the negative impact that the high tariffs and minimum prices requested would have on the solar workers in our states and continued growth of the solar industry.