Energy | Environment

Solar Workers' Job Losses Blamed On Chinese Competition

OPB | May 1, 2012 9:05 a.m.

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Entrance to SolarWorld in Hillsboro, Ore. A new federal ruling ties layoffs at the company's facilities in California to competition from imported Chinese solar panels.

Entrance to SolarWorld in Hillsboro, Ore. A new federal ruling ties layoffs at the company's facilities in California to competition from imported Chinese solar panels.

Oregon Department of Transportation

A new federal ruling ties layoffs at SolarWorld to competition from imported Chinese solar panels.

The U.S. Department of Labor has decided that laid-off SolarWorld workers can receive federal aid for job searches, relocation and retraining.

The agency confirmed Chinese solar panel imports contributed to the company’s 186 layoffs in California last year.

Ben Santarris is the head of corporate communications for SolarWorld in Hillsboro. He says Friday’s decision supports his company’s argument.

“Well, it’s just another validation of our claim that China’s imports have hurt American jobs and specifically our jobs. What it says is that our workers were dislocated as a result of Chinese imports and therefore are eligible for aid under the trade adjustment benefits assistance.”

SolarWorld has asked the federal government to tax imported Chinese solar panels to make up for unfair pricing. A decision in that case is expected later this month.

(This was first reported for OPB News.)

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