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Solar-Industry Coalition for Fair Trade Swells above 250 Employers of 25,000 Americans
|By Business Wire
|July 15, 2014 10:30 AM EDT
The membership of the Coalition
for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) – a broad consortium of U.S.
solar-industry employers that supports domestic manufacturing,
sustainable production and fair competition and trade – has grown to
more than 250 employers of nearly 25,000 American workers, according to SolarWorld,
the coalition’s leader.
This membership spans all industry phases, including manufacturing, but
about three-quarters of members are downstream firms, such as solar
installers, distributors and integrators, according to SolarWorld. In
fact, CASM includes more than two times as many such businesses as the
entire membership of an opposing coalition, which, according to
SolarWorld, erroneously claims to represent them.
CASM members have publicly identified themselves and their reasons for
their support for CASM on the
members section of its website.
Van Meter Inc., an 86-year-old electrical and mechanical distributorship
and employee of 400 Americans based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, recently
registered its support, taking its lead from the heavily agricultural
market that it serves, according to Karmen Wilhelm, director of energy
services and solutions. Practical-minded farmers are stewards of the
land, air and water they use to grow food, Wilhelm said, and they
embrace the sound logic of local and domestic supply and production for
local consumption, especially those provided according to high U.S.
“Solar is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States,”
Wilhelm says. “As electric rates continue to climb and environmental
concerns mount, some predict solar will someday be the single largest
source of electricity generation in our country. Faced with this
prospective scenario, it makes perfect economic sense to support
domestic manufacturing of solar panels as well as international trade
policies that promote fair and healthy competition.”
While some CASM members employ thousands of Americans, many members are
long-time medium-size installation businesses or even small installers,
such as Sawmill Solar Electric, based in Kern County in Central
“We believe that it’s important for our country and our customers to
know that they’re getting a quality product, and we’ve found
domestically produced product outlasts foreign product,” co-owner
Margaret Redman said. “It’s also important for our customers to know
that they can count on a manufacturer to stand by its product by
actually producing in the U.S. market.”
CASM has supported SolarWorld’s campaign to restore fair competition
within the U.S. solar market since the company filed anti-subsidy and
anti-dumping petitions against the state-controlled Chinese solar
industry in late 2011. In December 2012, the U.S. government imposed
duties averaging 31 percent on Chinese solar imports.
Chinese solar producers circumvented those duties through a loophole in
the trade-remedy order, enabling them to avoid tariffs by outsourcing
solar cell production, particularly to Taiwan, according to SolarWorld.
To close the loophole, SolarWorld filed new trade cases against China
and Taiwan on Dec. 31. In a preliminary anti-dumping determination on
June 4, Commerce imposed preliminary subsidy duties against China
averaging 27 percent. The agency is expected to announce its preliminary
determination on anti-dumping duties on July 25.
With its trade cases, SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer
for nearly 40 years, represents the domestic solar manufacturing
industry, which invented and pioneered manufacturing of the mainstay
crystalline silicon technology.
SolarWorld REAL VALUE: SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar
power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply
worldwide. As the largest solar producer in the United States and
Europe, SolarWorld employs about 3,200 people and carries out production
in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany. From the raw
material silicon to solar wafers, cells and panels, SolarWorld manages
all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development.
The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the
globe and is committed to resource- and energy-efficient production.
Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has
been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. For more
information, visit www.solarworld-usa.com.
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