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Tim Brightbill Discusses SolarWorld’s Decision to Join Case Seeking U.S. Duties on Solar Imports

PV Magazine, The Oregonian, E&E News
June 2, 2017

Timothy C. Brightbill, a partner in Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice, was quoted in several media outlets regarding SolarWorld Americas’ May 25 decision to become a co-petitioner in the Section 201 safeguards case that is pending before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The case, originally filed by Suniva in April 2017, seeks to address a surge of solar cell and panel imports from around the world that has seriously injured the U.S. solar panel manufacturing industry.

“We are looking forward to working with Suniva to prosecute and win this case,” said Mr. Brightbill, who serves as trade counsel to SolarWorld Americas, in an interview with PV Magazine. “We will also urge the [Trump] Administration to impose a remedy that preserves solar manufacturing in the United States while maintaining strong solar demand and strengthening the U.S. supply chain.”

The petition calls for trade remedies that could save manufacturing jobs in the domestic solar panel industry.

“We can’t just be a nation of installers of Chinese solar panels,” Mr. Brightbill said in an interview with E&E News. “If we want to have a vibrant solar industry, we have to have solar manufacturing. This case is about preserving that segment of the industry.”

“This Administration is clearly supportive of U.S. jobs and U.S. manufacturing, and we think this case will offer the Administration a great opportunity to increase manufacturing jobs here in the U.S.,” Mr. Brightbill told E&E News.

While it may take months for the ITC to reach a decision on the case, Mr. Brightbill told The Oregonian that there may be other options to pursue, such as the reopening of negotiations with Chinese trade officials given the pending trade complaint. “It’s something we have attempted in the past,” said Mr. Brightbill. “The Chinese government has been resistant.”