Green Solar Technologies in Favor of Solar Tariffs

March 2, 2019

 "Made in America". This label (or the alternative "Made in the USA"), proudly displayed on a product, delivers a special message to the consumer. It says "This product is of the highest quality and meets strict U.S. safety standards." According to Consumer Reports, almost 8 in 10 American consumers say they would rather buy an American-made product than an imported one. Buying a product made in America instills a special confidence in the purchaser while also supporting the U.S. economy and the American workforce.

Green Solar Technologies (GST) strongly supports buying American-made products. In fact, GST is the only solar company that fought in favor of the solar tariffs. The company stands firm with American solar manufacturers, as well as with many Americans, in the belief that U.S. solar manufacturing reduces our solar industry's dependence on imports, boosts the U.S. economy, and helps ensure the effectiveness and reliability of U.S. solar energy.

 

Green Solar Technologies Founder, Nicki Zvik, says, "There's no question that American-made solar panels are better, but for so long there has been a shortage of American solar panel manufacturers. The main reason for this is that it was hard for U.S. companies to compete with inferior, cheaper, foreign-made panels."

Solar technology originated in the United States when three Bell Labs scientists invented the photovoltaic (PV) cell in 1954, but China currently accounts for around 70 percent of solar panels (built on these PV cells) manufactured globally. When NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) was implemented in 1994, it imposed stiff U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels imported directly to the United States. China then arranged to manufacture and assemble its solar panels in Canada and Mexico, where it could then use a NAFTA loophole to deluge the U.S. market with cheap, low quality Chinese solar products.

"At GST, we knew that this loophole needed to be closed," says Nicki Zvik, "China's low-priced solar panels, whose manufacture is aided by generous Chinese government subsidies, proved difficult for American solar manufacturers to compete with, and difficult for most American solar companies to resist."

Last year the Federal government came to the aid of U.S. solar manufacturers with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA closes the NAFTA loophole with a clause that states that the United States can veto any trade deals made by Mexico or Canada with third parties. The inclusion of this clause goes a long way toward creating a more level playing field in the domestic marketplace for U.S. solar companies. Additionally, with a stronger U.S. solar manufacturing industry, we are likely to see more "Made in America" labels in the lucrative, rapidly growing global solar marketplace.

Nicki Zvik states, "Green Solar Technologies was proud to send COO, Edward Harner, to Washington D.C. to testify in front of the United States International Trade Commission in favor of the tariffs that have since been put into effect. And we're proud to acknowledge that, with the help of GST and Edward, the tariffs are encouraging many solar panel manufacturers to open up manufacturing plants in the U.S., which is great news for the American solar industry and the U.S. economy as a whole."

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