Domestic Companies Urge President Trump to Counter China’s Targeting of Solar Industry

December 18, 2017

Some Legislators Sign Pro-China Letter


Washington, DC, December 18, 2017. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) is urging President Trump to take strong action on the massive subsidies that China is using to dominate the global solar industry. CPA’s effort comes as the president faces a January 26, 2018 deadline to decide on tariffs for solar panel imports, largely from China, in a case before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

“For decades, China has methodically and comprehensively subsidized targeted industries to bankrupt U.S. competitors and dominate global markets,” said Dan DiMicco, Chairman of CPA. “They use free money, free land, stolen intellectual property, and free or low-priced inputs to build factories, achieve massive scale, and create overcapacity. They then sell large quantities at low prices to drive American companies out of the market. We have seen this in steel, aluminum, and electronics as well as the solar industry.”

China has targeted the solar panel industry in the last three of its five-year economic plans. As a result, most American manufacturers were driven out of business. Two of the largest remaining companies, Suniva and Solar World, are now fighting for their economic life against massive economic intervention by the Chinese government.

On October 29, the ITC recommended tariffs be imposed on imported solar panels. The case is currently making its way to President Trump, who faces the January 26 deadline for a decision.”

“China was ‘China First’ before America was America First,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “CPA member manufacturers are often forced to exit a product market after the Chinese target it in one of their five-year plans. The solar panel industry is merely the next domino that could fall. President Trump has an excellent opportunity to fix trade cheating in the solar panel industry by authorizing effective tariffs to neutralize foreign subsidies.” 

A study commissioned by solar panel manufacturers showed that effective tariffs could restore the US solar manufacturing industry to good health, creating from 12,000 to as much as 91,000 new good-paying jobs in solar cell and module manufacture. Further, each manufacturing job has a multiplier effect in creating many more new jobs throughout the supply chain.

Unfortunately, dozens of representatives and senators signed letters in December cautioning against any remedies for trade cheating in the solar panel industry. Intentionally or not, these letters effectively support China's economic strategy against the United States.

"Too often we see American legislators unwittingly aid and abet China’s strategy to appropriate American industries by opposing effective trade action,” said Stumo. “By doing so, they enable President Xi Jinping’s ‘China 2025’ strategy to capture and dominate future, high-tech industries."

The legislators who signed pro-China solar letters (linked here and here) in December are listed below.

“President Trump should address China’s trade cheating at every opportunity,” said DiMicco. “In January, he can take the next step toward an America First trade strategy by approving strong and effective solar panel tariffs to confront China’s plan to take out American industries.”

About CPA: The Coalition for a Prosperous America is the nation’s premier organization working on the intersection of trade, jobs, tax, and economic growth. We represent the interests of 4.1 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing, and labor members.


List of Senators who signed the pro-China solar letter of December 5, 2017: Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cory Gardner (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS),  Tim Scott (R-SC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Burr (R-NC) 

List of House Members who signed the pro-China solar letter of December 4, 2017: Ralph Norman (D-SC-5), Carlos Curbelo (D-FL-26), Mark Sanford (R-SC-1), Pat Meehan (R-PA-7), Ted Budd (D-NC-13), Steve Knight (R-CA-25), Ken Calvert (D-CA-42), Richard Hudson (R-NC-8), Dave Reichert (R-WA-8), David Rouzer (R-NC-7), Jeff Duncan (D-SC-3), Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5), Mia Love (R-UT-4), Ryan Costello (R-PA-6), Joe Wilson (R-SC-2), Kevin Yoder (R-KS-3), Frank Lucas (R-OK-3), Martha McSally (R-AZ-2), Diane Black (R-TN-06), Rob Bishop (R-UT-01), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-16), Thomas Garrett (R-VA-05), Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), Daniel Donovan (R-NY-11)


Contact Media Director
Paola Masman: paola@prosperousamerica.org

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  • Joshua Angelus
    Congressman Curbelo is a Republican.