Panel Votes Against Cheaper Solar Panel Imports

Sep 23, 2017

A U.S. trade panel has found that low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to U.S. solar manufacturers. The unanimous vote Friday by the International Trade Commission sets up the possibility that the Trump administration will impose tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from abroad.

Cheap imports have led to a boom in the U.S. solar industry, where rooftop and other installations have surged tenfold since 2011.  But two U.S. solar manufacturers say the flood of imports has led one to bankruptcy and forced the other to lay off most of its workforce.

In August Renewable Energy Vermont’s Austin Davis told WAMC if a tariff is imposed it could slow the growth of Vermont’s solar industry.  “This is a potential hole on our success that we’ve seen to date.”

A final decision on tariffs expected in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.