Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chair of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Trade, has requested that President Barack Obama take action to ‘curb the flood of Chinese subsidized solar products, identifying existing trade tools that he can use to level the playing field for American manufacturers.’
The global market for renewable energy technologies is increasingly being dominated by Chinese manufacturers reaping the benefits of unscrupulous trade practices that give them an unfair competitive advantage against U.S. industries, Wyden claims.
‘The American solar industry is facing unparalleled challenges, and without the leadership of your administration, this industry may disappear, leaving behind additional workers without employment,’ Wyden wrote in a letter to Obama. ‘Letting that happen is unacceptable.’
Wyden identified the Department of Commerce's authority to self-initiate an investigation into the application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties as one remedy. He also recommended that conditions be placed on China's entry to the World Trade Organization that give the president the authority to impose tariff safeguards on surging Chinese imports that disrupt the U.S. industry. In 2009, the president used this authority to impose tariffs on Chinese tires.
Wyden adds that he will initiate legislative action if the president does not respond to his request.