Solar Panel Manufacturer That Hasn’t Produced Solar Panels Since 2017 Seeks Extension of Solar Panel Tariffs
One of the companies clamoring for an extension of American tariffs on imported solar panels hasn’t actually built a solar panel in several years—and it doesn’t appear to do much of anything right now.
Suniva, an Atlanta-based firm founded in 2007, is one of two companies to formally petition the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to extend former President Donald Trump’s 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panels. Those tariffs, imposed in 2018 and scheduled to expire in 2022, currently add 18 percent to the cost of imported solar panels. In their petition, Suniva and Auxin Solar told the ITC that the extension was necessary “to secure America’s solar energy independence.”
But it’s fair to ask what, exactly, this extension of solar panel protectionism is meant to be protecting. Suniva halted its production lines in 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal, and now says it will be able to restart them only if the tariffs—which, again, have been in place since 2018—are extended.
The ITC ought to be pretty skeptical of that argument. After all, Suniva declared bankruptcy in 2017—but only after receiving more than $20 million in tax credits, as Reason reported at the time.
What’s Suniva up to now? It’s hard to tell. The company’s website does not appear to have been updated since 2016—the most recent press release available on the site is dated December 15, 2016, and touts the successful expansion of Suniva’s manufacturing plant in the Atlanta suburb of Norcross. That same plant was shuttered just three months later, in March 2017, according to
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