Military leaders join fight ahead of trade decision

E&E News



A group of former U.S. military officials are urging the Trump administration to reject solar tariffs, sending one of many letters flying this week ahead of a long-awaited ruling.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is set to decide Friday whether two solar manufacturing companies are experiencing "serious injury" because of a flood of cheap solar imports, primarily from Asia.

The companies, Suniva Inc. and SolarWorld Americas, are asking for tariffs that could double the prices of solar panels from abroad (E&E News PM, April 26). If the ITC finds injury and makes recommendations on a remedy, the issue will head to the president, who many suspect would support tariffs (Greenwire, Aug. 28).

The letter from former members of all four service branches notes the military is the largest consumer of energy and is following a federal law calling for the Defense Department to procure 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Trade barriers could "jeopardize the financial viability of planned and future solar investments on or near domestic military bases," they said.

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