Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Rhone Resch has released a statement following news that the United Steel Workers union has filed a Section 301 petition asking the U.S. Trade Representative to formally investigate China's trade practices in the renewable energy sector.
‘Solar energy is a global industry, as reflected by our 1,000 member companies from around the world that serve residential, commercial property and utility customers in the U.S.,’ Resch said. ‘We believe global competition benefits consumers. SEIA is focused on expanding the U.S. solar energy market and strongly supports open and fair global competition regulated by a strong, enforceable, rules-based international trade system.
‘SEIA takes this issue seriously and is closely following the review process,’ he continued. ‘Regardless of the outcome of this petition, it is clear that U.S. domestic clean energy policies need to be strengthened. We have fallen behind European and Asian nations and need to develop strong and stable clean energy policies that stimulate the U.S. solar market, address financing challenges, expand domestic manufacturing, grow domestic jobs and increase clean energy exports.’
‘For the U.S. to meet its economic, environmental and energy security goals, we must adopt a national comprehensive energy policy,’ Resch added. ‘In the absence of such policy, it is critical that the U.S. Congress extend existing policies that are making a difference.
‘Specifically, U.S. policy-makers should extend the Treasury [cash grant] to support the private financing of solar projects, replenish funds borrowed from the Department of Energy loan-guarantee program and improve application processing, and extend tax credits for investment in solar manufacturing,’ he said.