On Wednesday, solar industry stakeholders converged once again in Washington, D.C., for what was likely the final public hearing on the controversial Section 201 trade case before President Donald Trump makes his decision.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which advises the president on trade matters, held the meeting to evaluate the case and heard testimony from an array of advocates and opponents. Representatives from both sides offered few new arguments than those made at the previous U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) hearings. Nonetheless, co-petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld Americas pushed for tougher trade actions than what the ITC had recommended in late October. And the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) used the USTR gathering to lead a large opposition rally, which included solar workers’ marching toward the White House afterwards.
A day before the USTR hearing, SEIA also launched a six-step “America First” plan, which the group claims provides a blueprint for Trump to keep the solar industry growing and begins with rejecting solar import tariffs.
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