A second US PV manufacturer has voiced concern that trade proposals could inadvertently classify its products as Chinese.
Congressman Erik Paulsen has weighed into the case by writing to the Department of Commerce to express his concern that Minnesota based tenKsolar could shed all 80 jobs if the proposals continue.
The department has suggested that solar panels with any major Chinese component be classified as a Chinese module for trade purposes. This has alerted US cell maker Suniva already.
Writing in defence of tenKsolar, Paulsen said: “While I firmly support the department's mission of ensuring US competitiveness in the global marketplace, I am concerned that this particular action might be an unfair departure from the department's normal investigations of unfair trade practices that could have unintended negative consequences on American business and American jobs.
“However, and as discussed above, I share their concerns that the proposed clarification of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations could ultimately result in the shuttering of this business and with it over 80 jobs,” he warned.
“I urge the department to examine the unique circumstances of tenKsolar, take the time to meet with them, and ensure that there is ample time for American companies to adjust to any rule changes."
Suniva has submitted documents to the Department of Commerce requesting that it deal with the reclassification of US solar products by including language that excludes them from the scope of the case. The company has plans to build a second factory in the US, which it claims will employ 350 people.
Last month SolarWorld, the petitioner in the trade case, announced that it was expanding its own US manufacturing operations in Oregon with the creation of 200 jobs.
Discussions over a possible negotiated settlement between the US and Chinese are close to reaching their conclusion ahead of a final decision by the department expected in mid-December.