Message From The Chair : A Period of Uncertainty

Message from the Chair - 8/21/2017

A Period of Uncertainty

   Back in November, solar professionals realized we were in for a period of uncertainty. What we didn’t expect was that the greatest threat would rise from within our own industry.

   On August 15, the International Trade Commission (ITC) heard testimony on a petition filed by bankrupt Georgia panel manufacturer Suniva asking the commission to recommend the imposition of steep tariffs on all panels imported to the U.S. The tariffs would roughly double the cost of panels to the U.S. solar industry.

   The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has been joined in opposition to this request for tariffs by a wide range of political and financial interests. All of these pro-solar allies, including the conservative Heritage Foundation, want to protect the more than 250,000 solar jobs and billions of dollars in solar investment that are threatened by this petition.

   Here in Georgia, as many as 2,000 solar jobs statewide could be in jeopardy if tariffs are imposed on imported solar panels.

   In many states, such as North Carolina, Senators and Congressional Representatives are showing their unequivocal bipartisan opposition to tariffs in letters sent to the ITC. Georgia’s Senators and Congressional Representatives need to hear from solar companies, workers and supporters in their districts that you want them to support Georgia’s solar industry and join in that opposition.

   The ITC will rule by September 22. It is not a binding decision, which means that it will not go into effect unless adopted and ordered by the President. Once the ruling will be communicated to President Donald Trump by November 13, he will have until mid-January 2018 to accept or reject the recommendation.

    Thousands of jobs – maybe yours, maybe mine – and billions of dollars in potential investment hang in the balance. Your voice makes a difference. Contact your Senators and Congressional Representative TODAY and tell them cost-effective solar contributes significantly to the economy in their district and the State of Georgia.

- Don Moreland
GA Solar Energy Association Chair

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