On Monday, September 25, SolarWorld Americas announced that with the prospect of meaningful import relief close at hand, the company will begin ramping up production. It hopes to hire up to 200 workers by May.
On Friday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4-0 in favor of a trade-case determination that a surge of imports has seriously injured the domestic solar cell and panel industry. The vote means that the case, in which SolarWorld Americas and Suniva Inc. are co-petitioners, moves to a remedy phase.
In light of the ruling, SolarWorld said that it will boost production.
“Our struggle has always been about keeping alive the pioneering U.S. solar-technology industry as well as its workforce, from Ph.D. scientists to line workers,” said Juergen Stein, CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas. “With relief from surging imports in sight, we believe we can rev up our manufacturing engine and increase our economic impact.”
Nearly 30 U.S. solar-panel producers ceased manufacturing operations from 2012 to 2016, the period of investigation in the case, said SolarWorld. During this period, global imports increased nearly five-fold. This surge was led by China.
“Friday’s determination made clear that the U.S. industry’s problems have not been self-inflicted, but rather are the result of surging imports,” Stein said. “As such, we at SolarWorld are prepared to scale up our world-class manufacturing operations to produce leading solar products made by more American workers.”
The ITC will now conduct the remedy phase, including a hearing on Oct. 3 and a recommendation to the President on Nov. 13. President Trump then will have about two months to adopt that recommendation or another remedy.
Editor’s Note: On Thursday, Renewable Energy World will host a webcast to help businesses understand the next steps after the ITC decision. Register here for What Now? How You Should Be Positioning Your Business in Light of the ITC Ruling
Lead image: Credit SolarWorld.
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