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Components | November 16, 2011

SEMI criticizes solar trade dispute

Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) released a statement regarding SolarWorld's trade petition and its potential impact on the U.S. solar industry.

SEMI, the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries, including semiconductors, photovoltaics (PV), LED, flat panel display and other industries, represents a broad range of the U.S. solar industry. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) held initial hearings Tuesday on the SolarWorld/CASM complaint alleging that CSPV manufacturers illegally dumped cells and modules on the US markets and received illegal Chinese government subsidies. SEMI expressed concern about the trade dispute's potential impact on U.S. solar industry growth and jobs: "This case could lead to significant price increases that could have a significant deleterious impact on SEMI members, many of whom are upstream providers of high value- added equipment and materials. It will also impact downstream service providers, such as installers, where a majority of solar industry jobs are concentrated." According to the U.S. Solar Energy Industry Association, the U.S. is a net exporter of solar products to China by more than US$200 million dollars and to the world by nearly US$2 billion. A U.S.-China solar trade war could obstruct global solar trade and negatively impact many U.S. exporters of solar products. "Global solar industry competition drives down cost and creates thousands of American jobs. Political instability and protectionism do not," said Jigar Shah, co-founder and Chairman of CASE and founder of SunEdison. "Further price declines driven by intense competition will only grow more new jobs throughout the solar value chain -- especially in the U.S. The solar industry's rapid cost reduction curve, unprecedented in the history of energy technology, remains its primary source of credibility in the U.S. and globally. We must not put that at risk."
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