By facsimile: 202-482-0827


citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington

May 10,2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Departmental Freedom of Information Act Officer Office of Management and Organization 1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20230 Re: Freedom of Information Act Request Dear FOIA Officer: Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552, et seq., and U.S. Department of Commerce ("Commerce") regulations, 15 C.F.R. § 4.1, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ("CREW;') makes the following expedited request for records. First, CREW requests copies of all correspondence, memoranda, email, and phone records with, involving, or referencing Jigar Shah and/or representatives of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy ("CASE"), SunEdison, Edison International or Edison Southern California from January 1,2008, to April 30, 2012. CREW's request includes, but is not limited to, the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative and its Small Town Energy Program for University Park (STEP-UP). In addition to external and intra-agency communications, CREW's request includes, but is not limited to, correspondence, memoranda, email and phone records with any and all other federal agencies and/or White House individuals or offices. By way of background, Jigar Shah is the founder of SunEdison, reportedly North America's largest solar energy services provider, chairman of CASE, and was an external reviewer of the SunShot Initiative's "Vision Study" published in February 2012. Further, Mr. Shah was a keynote speaker at DOE's Solar America Cities Program Annual Meeting in 2011. Second, CREW requests all documents referencing, concerning, or explaining the relationship between SunEdison and Edison International and/or Edison Southern California. In October 2009, SunEdison was purchased by MEMC Electronic Materials ("MEMC"), but continues to retain its name. Further, although Mr. Shah left SunEdison in 2008, he continues to retain an interest in MEMC. Third, CREW requests all documents referencing, concerning, or explaining the March 20,2012 preliminary decision of the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose import duties on solar panels from China ranging from 2.9% to 4.73%, as well as all documents

1400 Eye Street, N.W., Suite 450, Washington, D.C. 20005









FOIA Officer May 10, 2012 Page Two referencing or concerning the upcoming final decision of Commerce on May 16,2012, on whether to impose anti-dumping duties on China. Please search for responsive records regardless of format, medium, or physical characteristics. Where possible, please produce records electronically, in PDF or TIF format on a CD-ROM. We seek records of any kind, including electronic records, audiotapes, videotapes, and photographs. Our request includes any letters, emails, facsimiles, telephone messages, voice mail messages, and transcripts, notes, or minutes of any meetings, telephone conversations, or discussions. Our request also includes any attachments to these records. If it is your position that any portion of the requested records is exempt from disclosure, CREW requests that you provide it with an index of those documents as required under Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1972). As you are aware, a Vaughn index must describe each document claimed as exempt with sufficient specificity "to permit a reasoned judgment as to whether the material is actually exempt under FOIA." Founding Church of Scientology v. Bell, 603 F.2d 945, 949 (D.C. Cir. 1979). Moreover, the Vaughn index must "describe each document or portion thereof withheld, and for each withholding it must discuss the consequences of supplying the sought-after information." King v. US. Dep 't a/Justice, 830 F.2d 210,223-24 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (emphasis added). Further, "the withholding agency must supply 'a relatively detailed justification, specifically identifying the reasons why a particular exemption is relevant and correlating those claims with the particular part of a withheld document to which they apply. '" Id at 224 (citing Mead Data Central v. Dep't a/the Air Force, 566 F.2d 242, 251 (D.C. Cir. 1977)).


In the event some portions of the requested records are properly exempt from disclosure, please disclose any reasonably segregable non-exempt portions of the requested records. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(b). If it is your position that a document contains non-exempt segments, but that those non-exempt segments are so dispersed throughout the document as to make segregation impossible, please state what portion of the document is non-exempt, and how the material is dispersed throughout the document. Mead Data Central, 566 F.2d at 261. Claims of nonsegregability must be made with the same degree of detail as required for claims of exemptions in a Vaughn index. If a request is denied in whole, please state specifically that it is not reasonable to segregate portions of the record for release. Finally, CREW welcomes the opportunity to discuss with you whether and to what extent this request can be narrowed or modified to better enable DOE to process it within the FOIA's deadlines. Anne L. Weismann, the CREW attorney handling this matter, can be reached at (202) 408-5565 or

FOIA Officer May 10,2012 Page Three

Fee Waiver Request
In accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii) and 15 C.F.R. § 4.11(k)(1)(i), CREW requests a waiver of fees associated with processing this request for records. The subject of this request concerns the operations of the federal government and expenditures, and the disclosures will likely contribute to a better understanding of relevant government procedures by CREW and the general public in a significant way. Moreover, the request is primarily and fundamentally for non-commercial purposes. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). See, e.g., McClellan Ecological v. Carlucci, 835 F.2d 1282, 1285 (9th Cir. 1987). Specifically, the requested records are likely to contribute to greater public awareness of the role Jigar Shah and CASE may have played in the development of U.S. solar energy policy, including DOE's SunShot Initiative and STEP-UP, and the decision of the U.S. International Trade Commission in March 2012 to impose duties of2.9% to 4.73% on solar panels exported by Chinese solar manufacturers. That decision, issued at a critical time in U.S.-China relationships, has been widely criticized as too low and failing to protect U.S. interests at home in the production of solar panels. CREW is a non-profit corporation, organized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. CREW is committed to protecting the public's right to be aware of the activities of government officials and to ensuring the integrity of those officials. CREW uses a combination of research, litigation, and advocacy to advance its mission. The release of information garnered through this request is not in CREW's financial interest. CREW will analyze the information responsive to this request, and will share its analysis with the public, either through memoranda, reports, or press releases. In addition, CREW will disseminate any documents it acquires from this request to the public through its website,, which also includes links to thousands of pages of documents CREW acquired through its multiple FOIA requests as well as documents related to CREW's litigation and agency complaints, and through Under these circumstances, CREW satisfies fully the criteria for a fee waiver.

News Media Fee Waiver Request
CREW also asks that it not be charged search or review fees for this request because CREW qualifies as a "representative of the news media" pursuant to the FOIA and Commerce regulation 15 C.F.R. § 4.11 (k)(2)(iii). In Nat 'I Sec. Archive v. Us. Dep't of Defense, 880 F.2d 1381, 1386 (D.C. Cir. 1989), the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the National Security Archive was a representative of the news media under the FOIA, relying on the FOIA's legislative history, which indicates the phrase "representative of the news media" is to be interpreted broadly; "it is critical that the phrase 'representative of the news

FOIA Officer May 10,2012 Page Four media' be broadly interpreted if the act is to work as expected .... In fact, any person or organization which regularly publishes or disseminates information to the public ... should qualify for waivers as a 'representative of the news media. '" 132 Congo Rec. S 14298 (daily ed. Sept. 30, 1986), cited in id. CREW routinely and systematically disseminates information to the public in several ways. First, CREW maintains a frequently visited website,, that received 39,474 visits in April 2012. In addition, CREW posts all of the documents it receives under the FOIA on and that site has received 1,919,883 visits to CREW's documents since April 14, 2010. Second, since May 2007 CREW has published an online newsletter, CREWCuts, that currently has 16,553 subscribers. CREWCuts provides subscribers with regular updates regarding CREW's activities and information the organization has received from government entities. A complete archive of past CREWCuts is available at Third, CREW publishes a blog, Citizens blogging for responsibility and ethics in Washington, that reports on and analyzes newsworthy developments regarding government ethics and corruption. The blog, located at http://www.citiznesforethics.orfl/b1ofl, also provides links that direct readers to other news articles and commentary on these issues. CREW's blog had 5,411 page views in April 2012. Finally, CREW has published numerous reports to educate the public about government ethics and corruption. See The Revolving Door, a comprehensive look into the post-government activities of 24 former members of President Bush's cabinet; Record Chaos, which examines agency compliance with electronic record keeping responsibilities; and Those Who Dared: 30 Officials Who Stood Up For Our Country. These and all other CREW's reports are available at h Up:1 Iwww .citizensforethics.orfl/repo rts. Based on these extensive publication activities, CREW qualifies for a fee waiver as a "representative of the news media" under the FOIA and agency regulations. Request for Expedition Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(E)(I) and 15 C.F.R. § 4.6(e)(1)(iii) and (iv), CREW requests that Commerce expedite the processing of this request in light of the compelling need for the requested information and the widespread media interest in this matter, which involves questions about the government's integrity that affect public confidence. CREW is a non-profit corporation engaged primarily in disseminating information it gathers from a variety of sources, including the FOIA, and seeks the information requested in this FOIA request for the express

FOIA Officer May 10,2012 Page Five purpose of disseminating it to the public. As discussed above, CREW's website contains numerous examples of its efforts in this regard. It is CREW's hope that by disseminating this type of information, the public will be better able to evaluate the actions of public officials and will have a more effective voice. As with the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the ACLU, two organizations the courts have found satisfy the criteria necessary to qualify for expedition, I CREW '''gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to tum the raw material into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience." ACLU, 321 F. Supp.2d at 30 n.S (quoting EPIC, 241 F. Supp.2d at 11). There is a compelling need for the requested records in light of the upcoming decision by Commerce on May 16,2012, on whether to impose anti-dumping duties on China. Its preliminary decision to impose import duties on solar panels from China ranging from 2.9% to 4.73% already has come under heavy criticism, with concerns raised that the U.S. is trying to protect its relationship with China to the detriment of U.S. manufacturers of solar panels. The upcoming action may have a significant economic impact, especially given the pressure to develop more clean energy alternatives like solar panels. See, e.g., Mark Clifford, Sun spots: Symbolic US-China solar standoff, MarketWatch, AprilS, 2012; Testing US-China solar bonds, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Climate Spectator, March 29,2012 (both attached as Exhibit A). Moreover, there has been widespread media coverage of this issue raising the question of the true reasons underlying the imposition of unexpectedly low tariff rates on China. See id.; see also Melanie Turner, Tariff on Chinese solar panels worries installers, Sacramento Business Journal, March 23,2012; Andrew Beebe, Inside a U.S.-China Solar Trade War, Wall Street Journal, March 28,2012 (both attached as Exhibit B). Accordingly, CREW requests that this request be expedited. I hereby certify this statement is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. Conclusion If you have any questions about this request or foresee any problems in releasing fully the requested records please contact me at (202) 408-5565. Also, if CREW's request for a fee waiver is not granted in full, please contact our office immediately upon making such a determination.
I See ACLU v. Us. Dep 't of Justice, 321 F.Supp.2d 24,30 (D.D.C. 2004); EPIC v. Dep ' of Defense, 241 F. Supp 2d 5, 11 (D.D.C. 2003).

FOIA Officer May 10,2012 Page Six Please send the requested records to Anne L. Weismann, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, 1400 Eye Street, N.W., Suite 450, Washington, D.C. 20005, or Sincerely,

Anne L. Weismann Chief Counsel Enclosures


Sun spots: Symbolic U.S.-China solar standoff - MarketWatch

Page 1 of3

Caixin Online April 5, 2012,10:08 p.rn. EDT

Sun spots: Symbolic U.S.-China solar standoff
Commentary: There is need to keep the renewable energy field open
By Mark Clifford

BEIJING (Caixin Online) - Solar panels are ugly, they are expensive and the power they produce is almost meaningless in the overall energy mix of the world's two largest economies, the United States and China.
Yet the unsightly black photovoltaic leadership in the clean-tech (PV) panels are now a symbol of innovation, holding the promise of green jobs and

economy. of U.S. President Barack Obama finds itself balancing the demands of U.S. at bay against the desire to avoid increasing trade tensions with China, has made good along with the 100,000 American workers that the but the Obama administration

Little wonder that the administration while keeping U.S. consumers decisions.

producers to keep their Chinese competitors solar support industry claims to employ -

who want cheap Chinese panels -

happy. It's a big challenge,

U.S. solar producers

in October filed suit accusing Chinese illegal Chinese government support in loans, subsidized land and similar


ABOUT CAIXIN Caixin is a Beijing-based group dedicated quality and authoritative through periodicals, TV/video programs, • Get the Caixin e-newsletter media financial to providing high-


of receiving

the form of preferential

Caixin online

benefits. U.S. imports of Chinese solar panels have skyrocketed in recent years, from $640 million in 2009 to $3.1 billion in 2011, according to U.S. Department producers out. But this case was never just about solar panels. Washington of Commerce data, U.S. producers want stiff tariffs and duties to keep Chinese solar

and business news and information online and

missed its first deadline for announcing made his trip to Washington. Investors in the Chinese companies rallied more than 12% on the news.

tariffs for Chinese solar panels in February -

the same month that Xi Jinping

When the decision to impose tariffs came in late March, the penalties were only symbolic. cheered the light penalties: Stocks of three leading Chinese solar companies

The tariffs which range from 2.9% to 4.73% have little but nuisance value. The head of one U.S. solar company that uses Chinese panels to assemble full systems told The New York Times that the tariffs would only push the price of a $600 solar system to $610, in other words, the tariffs will add about the price of two cups of coffee at Starbucks. The tariffs imposed by the commerce summer could be higher especially department allow the Obama administration heats up. issue, the U.S. is still open to to say that it is standing up to China in the

but they don't put any real barriers to trade. This is a preliminary if the political temperature

ruling and the final penalties announced

The impact is clear: Even in an election year in which China is emerging as an important business for Chinese solar manufacturers. The mild penalties announced

by the U.S. shouldn't obscure the fact that China's industry has some serious problems,




Sun spots: Symbolic U.S.-China solar standoff - MarketWatch

Page 2 of3

Savage competition spectacular

among Chinese domestic

players has resulted in the key

price falls. The spot price of polysilicon,

ingredient in PV panels, has fallen more than 90% since 2008. Prices of silicon panels fell about half last year. Chinese solar makers are burning through cash and many are posting significant Chinese banks potentially have a lot to lose as well. losses.

According to data sourced to Mercom Capital Group, in 2010 China

Stranded whale shark dies in China
A 3,000 kilogram whale shark dies after becoming stranded in southern China. (Video: Reuters/Photo: AP)


Bank promised to lend almost $32 billion to five The $31.8 billion in credits made up the

Chinese solar companies.

top five debt deals in the world for the solar industry that year. Viewed from the perspective of the companies that brought the antifavors out of

dumping suit against the Chinese and incentives



finance and a variety of other Chinese government has been destroyed, driving some companies

have been a disaster for the industry. Profitability

business and making it difficult for others to fund innovation. From another perspective, conventional Zhengrong the steep decline in prices has brought forward the time in which solar is competitive such as Suntech Power's (NYSE:STP) power in many places. subsidies. This with conventional with

forms of power. In fact, solar advocates claim that solar is already competitive

Chief Executive Shi

Important as the trade dispute is, there are other tremors shaking the industry. Germany is eliminating phasing out of feed-in tariffs (which have guaranteed electricity into the grid) is hurting prospects a subsidized for what has been one of the world's largest solar markets. The largest U.S. solar company, lines in Germany and canceling

price for solar power producers who sell their

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) expansion

, has

responded to the cutback in German subsidies by idling production projects, including a new solar factory in Vietnam. The company, recent conference which says that these

cutbacks will result in a $100 million charge this year, said on a call to analysts that solar has never been deployed without large subsidies. The solar dispute reflects deep frustration among many Americans

Sales of German luxury car maker Mercedes soar
Germany's luxury car makers reported further sales increases, fueled by demand in China, and surprisingly the U.S. where new figures showed an accelerating recovery in the world's biggest auto market. Photo: AP

that China's rise seems to reflect not just hard work and lower costs but a variety of unfair advantages by not playing by the same rules. It given the fact that the U.S. is an easy election year issue, especially U.S. data. China has signaled that it will not be a passive punching bag. In a

trade deficit with China jumped to $295 billion last year, according to

move that reflects China's increasingly by saying in November including California. investigation


policies, Beijing responded

to the initial U.S. solar industry complaint

that it would begin its own investigation

into several U.S. states' support for clean energy,

If the modest penalties on Chinese solar panels stand, it is a good bet that the Chinese

will quietly fade away. trade and economic issues causing tension between China and the U.S. remains a perennial complaint from Washington, though it More recently, the U.S. has filed disputes about Chinese export

Still, there are a number of other outstanding The alleged under-valuation policies on rare earths. At a time when both countries economics

of the yuan (ICAPC:USDCNY)

seems to have been pushed to the background.

are going through potential leadership

changes, anyone

of these issues has the chance

to flare up. But the apparent fading of the solar dispute appears for now to be a triumph of common sense, good and good energy policy. on Caixin Online.

Read this commentary


C6-7F89-11 E 1-92BD-00212...

5110/20 12

Testing US-China solar bonds

I Climate


Page 1 of2

.... 1Ijl~;'"M:'


Discover how businesses are adopting new techniques and how they apply to you
Free Regislration Green Deals Commenlary

a Business Speclalor publicalion
Home Policy & Science Smart Energy Green Business CleanTech

Log in Enviro-Markels


Climate Spectator




Testing US-China solar bonds
Bloomberg New Energy Finance Published 7:14 AM, 29 Mar 2012 Last week saw the US Department preliminary countervailing The decision was widely anticipated of Commerce impose Tags solar energy, China, Policy & Science, Smart Energy, United States duties on Chinese cells and modules. the

----0 (]

but the lower-than-expected

duties caused the share price of China's JA Solar Holdings, - the day of the announcement. The department retroactively -Chinese

world's largest solar cell maker, to surge 4.4 per cent on March 20 Login or regisler to post comments silicon cells and modules per cent cheaper than non

set duties ranging from 2.9 per cent to 4.7 per cent crystalline


Natural Gas. Australia 's energy future.

on Chinese-manufactured the spot price of Chinese most of the Chinese Chinese

from late December.

The market impact of this move is likely to be fairly limited given that New Energy Finance analysts. The 3.59 per cent duty on current prices to no more than $USO.94 per Watt. on May 16, however, when the department higher than countervailing duties.

modules was $USO.93 per Watt on March 12 -12 to Bloomberg

modules - according

modules would increase


could face a bigger obstacle

decides whether to impose anti-dumping The impact of these measures energy companies Chinese companies manufacturing interview build a production

duties. These are typically

on the wider trade equation to investigate

of the world's two largest economies support of its renewable polysilicon.

remains to be seen. China has threatened

the US government's

and it could retaliate by imposing like Trina Solar, meanwhile,

duties against US-made

have already started talking about locating costs. "We're evaluating officer of the company possibilities said in an to

facilities in the US to escape these additional plant in the US," Gao Jifan, chief executive last week. by Solarworld

in Shanghai

...r :t_(>o.' \.i;7"





The US action is the result of a complaint manufacturers, including


America and six other US



Helios Solar and MX Solar. in the US and Europe have been hit by the oversupply Solarworld 2012 sales due to uncertain in the market Other

Solar manufacturing and the consequent manufacturers Germany's Renewable crystalline


drop in prices. Germany's

for instance reported a loss of €299 million solar market conditions. Enviro-markols (spot prices) LGC $A37.80 are also struggling.

for 2011, and said that it could not forecast in the country,

like Q-Cells and Conergy, industry will disappear Maubach, announced


€3.85 ~


solar manufacturing Energy Corporation

within five years because of competition close its 300MW mono-


Chinese companies,

said Klaus-Dieter

a member of E.ON's management

board. Norway's

that it would pemnanently

i-E-U-A---€-7-.4-5-----~I-NZ-U---$-N-Z-6.-8-5---1 ~~_~~~~~-L Prices provided by NAB

wafer plant in Norway after failing to cut costs enough to make it profttable. MoSI read Mosl commented in China also have their share of troubles. its audited earnings LDK Solar reported fourth-quarter sales at 1. The end of nuclear 2, Swan's surplus sorcery? 3. FEDERAL BUDGET 2012: Expenditure deferral should get Hunt's attenlion 4. Wny Gillard can't afford to drop the floor price 5. Heartland - the beginning of the end for climate denial? 6. Wnen Wright is wrong 7. Thinking beyond solar panels and nuclear reactors 8. Mining powered by solar? 9. Crunching the carbon price numbers 10. Banking on Ihe solar PV leasing model

Solar companies

the bottom end of its forecast and less than half the $US921 million reported the year earlier. It is slated to announce Countries industry, next month and may post a negative gross margin. reviewing and reducing subsidy support for the solar for April.

from the UK to Germany

are constantly

putting it under further pressure.

The next round of cuts is scheduled signals emerging.

Amid the gloom, there were also contrarian

The solar unit of car parts supplier too, if

Robert Bosch opened a module manufacturing built with cells imported from Asia.

plant in France with an annual capacity of 150MW. It

may be betting on a niche market for 'Made in Europe' panels which could be price-competitive

Tags: solar energy, China, Policy & SCience, Smart Energy, United States

Related Articles

Engineering stop-gap politics



Tariff on Chinese solar panels worries installers - Sacramento Business Journal

Page 1 01"2

From the Sacramento Business lournal :

Tariff on Chinese solar panels worries installers
Premium content from Sacramento Business lournal by Melanie Turner, Staff Writer Date: Friday, March 23, 2012, 3:00am PDT Related: Manufacturing, Environment, Roseville, Rocklin, Solar energy, International Business

• Melanie Turner Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal Email I Twitter I Facebook A plan by the U.S. Commerce Department to impose new import fees on solar panels made in China is drawing mixed reactions from Sacramento-area solar companies. Although the tariffs could boost U.S. manufacturers, which sought the protection, installers worry that increased costs from the fees will put a damper on sales. The Commerce Department said Tuesday it would impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after finding the Chinese government was improperly giving export subsidies to panel makers there. The department found that Chinese solar panel manufacturers have received government subsidies of 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent. The department said it will impose import tariffs in those same proportions on Chinese-made solar panels. Tuesday's announcement was the first of two long-awaited tariff verdicts on two trade petitions filed last October by a number of U.S. solar panel makers. SolarWorld Industries America Inc., a subsidiary of Germany-based SolarWorld, led the U.S. manufacturers' complaints.



Tariff on Chinese solar panels worries installers - Sacramento Business Journal

Page 2 of2

While the solar panel manufacturers had sought steep tariffs on Chinese imports, the tariff amounts are considered to be small. Still, a Commerce Department decision on a second trade petition, expected in May, could substantially increase the cumulative tariffs. While the news is positive for some manufacturers in the U.S., installers and contractors are worried that rising prices will put a damper on the industry. "It's going to affect the pricing on all systems, not only ones manufactured in China," said Ed Murray, founder and owner of Rancho Cordova's Aztec Solar Inc., a solar installer. Murray is on the board for the Solar Energy Industries Association. Competition from Chinese manufacturers has driven down the price of solar panels, Murray said. Because most people buy solar panels for economic reasons, rising prices will hurt the business, he said. "It will have an impact on the entire solar industry," agreed Ken Oosting, chairman and chief technology officer for Rocklin startup Inspired Solar Technologies. "What affects the industry affects all of us that provide components to that industry." Oosting said the import tariffs will be "counterproductive" in terms of reaching a U.S. Department of Energy goal of solar installations costing $1 per watt. Depending on the size of the project, at the low end instillation is closer to $3.50 per watt, he said. For smaller projects, a solar installation can cost $6.50 or $7.50 per watt, he said. "The tariff will drive prices up on projects," he said. "If we buy Chinese panels we'll have to pay the price of the tariff - or buy more expensive u.s, panels." Meanwhile, Mike Anderson, vice president of corporate communications for utility-scale solar developer Solar Power Inc. of Roseville, said he does not believe the tariff will affect his company. While the company's majority shareholder, LDK Solar Co. Ltd., manufactures solar panels in China, Anderson said SPI can get panels from any place in the world. Melanie Turner covers energy, environment, clean technology, agriculture, transportation, media and marketing for the Sacramento Business Journal.




Is this a true bull market or a sucker's rally?
~ you have a 5500,000 porttoIjo, you shoIJld download the lalos! report by ForlJes ooIumnist Ken Fl$her's fi!lll.

tt Ions

you where we

think tile stocl<market Is headed and wh'/ This must.... ad report includes our latest slad< market loo", .. S!, plus research and analysis you can use in your porfotio right now Don't miss iH Click Here to Download Your Rep'ort! i:1C'tr'C'b 1,,,n'""UC'I""rT"
Jones Repmt!., This copy


for your




DrIly. To




for di1lritlution

10 )'OUfc;oleagues,


or customeB.







01 any artlde

01' ~sit WoNW_dj~~L'I.CO,"

S .. a sampl!, rec:rlr.t in PDF format


March 28. 2012. 7:08 p.m. ET

Inside a U.S.-China Solar Trade War
Commerce Department


probes don't consider the bigger picture.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced a ruling last week to raise trade barriers against solar cells produced in China. The preliminary determination calls for tariffs of 2.996 on cells manufactured by my company, Suntech; 4.7396 on those made by Trina Solar; and 3.6196 on the rest of solar-cell imports from China. Although these initial rates are modest, the department will consider adding more tariffs over the next several months. Doing so would he a mistake. Trade harriers-large or small, at any point in the global solar value chain-are harmful to both America and China.

The tariffs arise because a German company with operations in the U.S., SolarWorld, spearheaded unfair Chinese subsidies, and also that we sell our products in the U.S. at unfairly low prices.

a petition claiming that Chinese solar companies are successful because of

Suntech's success is not based on extraordinary subsidies but on industry-leading technology, quality products and efficient, large-scale manufacturing. Suntech set a world record for solar-cell conversion efficiency using standard commercial silicon wafers.

Two weeks ago,

Tu the extent that Chinese firms du receive any subsidies, such subsidies are hardly unique tu China. SularWorld itselChas received more than $100 million in support frum governments around the world, according to news reports. Many other energy-related firms also enjoy various forms of largess, including ethanol producers and oil companies. Unfortunately, for some in Washington China-bashing has taken priority over the global imperative to rapidly develop more cost-effective and large-scale clean energy. Even if China doesn't retaliate, solar tariffs will be costly for the U.S. economy by pushing up the price of solar energy, reducing demand, threatening millions of dollars in new power projects, and cutting jobs. Only a small proportion of the American solar industry is involved in the kind of manufacturing SolarWorld does, which the antidumping duties are supposed to help save. About 95,000 of the 100,000 solar-industry jobs in the U.S. are either with upstream producers of capital equipment, polysilicon and the like; manufacturers of complementary components such as racks; or downstream services surrounding solar-project construction, installation and engineering. All of those jobs are heavily integrated in the global economy and benefit from global free trade, including with China. For example, over the last decade, Suntech has been primarily a net consumer of solar products in the U.S., as we spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year with U.S.-based producers of machine equipment and material inputs. In 2010, we also opened a solar-panel manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Ariz., which has already doubled employment to more than 100 jobs. The (questionable) benefits of any antidumping tariff for the fewer than 5,000 workers at companies that directly compete with Sun tech and our peers need to be weighed against the potential harm to all the other Americans employed by us, our suppliers and customers. That's why many large and small U.S. solar industry leaders-including AES Solar, Dow Corning, Grape Solar, GroSolar, GT Advanced Technologies, MEMC/SunEdison, REC Silicon, Rosendin Electric, SolarCity, Swinerton and Verengo Solar-have banded together in the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy to oppose tariffs and defend free trade. They not only represent American consumers; they represent thousands of American manufacturing jobs and 95% of all American solar-industry jobs.



WOrXers assemble a solar panel for Sunlech

Unfortunately, by law, Commerce Department antidumping investigations don't consider this bigger picture. Commerce also isn't allowed to account for the danger of retaliation by a trading partner targeted by antidumping duties, though some in China now are calling for trade barriers to block U.S. competition. The consequences could be serious, China is the largest customer fur many uf America's sular pruducts. According to a Brattle Group analysis commissioned by the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, America could lose 11,000 jobs if Beijing were to impose tariffs on American polysilicon. Trade battles between these two governments could encourage other countries to raise protectionist barriers. The rapid growth of the global solar industry is made possible by competition driving down the price of solar products and therefore solar electricity to parity with fossil fuels. The world's two largest producers and consumers of energy, China and the U.S., must work together to facilitate solar-industry growth and to solve our planet's energy and environmental crisis. Mr. Beebe is the chief commercial officer of Sun tech, the world's largest producer of solar panels.

A uersion of this article appeared March 29, 2012, on page A17 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Inside a U.S.-China Solar Trade War.

This copy Is for your personal,


use only Distribution

Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved and use of this material are govemed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright Jones Reprints at 1-800-843·0008 or visit wwwdjreprinls com

law. For ncn-perscne! use or to order multiple copies. please contact Dow

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful