U.S. International Trade Commission Decision Is Blatant Protectionism
On Friday the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that solar panel manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld experienced serious injury due to overseas competition. This decision is the result of a petition the two bankrupt companies filed earlier this year under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. Section 201 is a remedy for domestic industries seriously injured by or threatened with serious injury by increased imports which may petition the U.S. ITC for import relief. It is an extremely rare action for companies to take and, frankly, unwarranted in this case.
Sarah Hunt, the Director of the ALEC Center on Innovation and Technology and Karla Jones, the Director of the ALEC Task Force on International Relations and Federalism weighed in on the discussion in an article here.
Now the case goes to the White House for the final decision on whether to provide relief and if so, how much relief. The president has a number of options at his disposal including rejection of the ITC’s recommendation. If President Trump accepts the ITC recommendation, he may decide to increase an existing or impose a new tariff, a tariff-rate quota, or a modification or imposition of a quantitative restriction; negotiating agreements; auctioning import licenses; initiating international negotiations; submitting legislative proposals to Congress; taking any other appropriate and feasible action otherwise authorized; or any combination of the above actions.
Long a champion of free markets, ALEC opposes the ITC’s decision as protectionism that will ultimately harm the U.S. economy and cost American jobs. We urge the President, who will make the final determination on whether to accept or reject the ITC’s recommendation, to choose free market principles over protectionism.