Two American solar manufacturing companies allege that they were practically driven out of business by Chinese solar manufacturers who unfairly dumped their products in the U.S. market at lower prices.
A report by the LA Times reveals various trade lawsuits by American companies against their foreign competitors, including one case wherein two American solar manufacturers allege their demise was caused by Chinese companies unfairly dumping their cheap products in the U.S.
Suniva, out of Georgia, and SolarWorld USA, out of Oregon, allege in their suit that they had to file for bankruptcy and lay off thousands of workers after being forced to compete with cheap, Chinese competitors.
Both solar manufacturing companies produce products that convert solar energy. But their suit claims that over the last three years, Chinese competitors, who make the product for lesser costs, have flooded the U.S. market and unfairly caused their business to suffer.
Suniva and SolarWorld USA have asked the Commerce Department for tariffs to protect their businesses from cheap, foreign competition.
But their cause has been opposed by free trade advocates like the Koch Brothers, the billionaire GOP mega-donors who famously opposed President Trump’s “America First” policy on trade and immigration. In a report from July, the Koch-funded organizations “Heritage Foundation” and “American Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC) came out against any change in trade policy to benefit the American solar manufacturers.
The two groups said in statements at the time:
“The Section 201 solar industry trade case will undermine one of the fastest-growing All of the Above Energy jobs sectors in states across the country, solar energy installation,” said Sarah Hunt, director of the Center for Innovation and Technology at ALEC, in a statement. “We must avoid rewarding this opportunistic use of U.S. trade laws.”
“Tariffs meant to protect one industry can, and often do, have significant damaging effects on other domestic industries,” said Tori Whiting, research associate at The Heritage Foundation. “Imposing tariffs under Section 201, as Suniva and SolarWorld request, would be a step backward by adding another layer of federal subsidies, which is something the Heritage Foundation opposes in all instances.”
As Breitbart News reported, American companies have followed Trump’s lead on his economic nationalism agenda when it comes to trade, with “a wave” of trade lawsuits being filed by U.S. companies against foreign competitors whom they say are taking advantage of U.S. trade policy to unfairly dump cheap, foreign goods in the country.
The analysis of Washington Post data reveals that overall there were 79 new investigations by the Commerce Department in 2017 into unfair trade practices by foreign competitors of American companies. This, according to the LA Times analysis, means there was a 65 percent jump in demands for tariffs on foreign competitors from 2016, marking a 16-year high.
The Trump administration made history when it announced in November that it would be taking action against China for dumping cheap aluminum sheet metal in the U.S., unfairly hurting American companies.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.