SolarWorld Applauds U.S. Labor Department Aid to Ex-Employees Laid off Due to Surge of Imports

Aid will include grants for education to retrain workers for new jobs


HILLSBORO, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SolarWorld Americas Inc., the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon
solar-technology manufacturer for more than 42 years, today expressed
gratitude for the U.S. Labor Department’s determination that more than
300 employees laid off this summer as a result of a surge of imports are
eligible for federal trade-adjustment assistance.

According to SolarWorld Americas, the Labor Department determination is
further confirmation of the unanimous finding of the U.S. International
Trade Commission (ITC) on Sept. 22 that the import surge has seriously
injured the domestic solar cell and panel manufacturing industry.
SolarWorld and Suniva Inc., which is bankrupt, made that claim in a
Section 201 trade case before the ITC.

The Labor Department’s determination that a surge of imports helped
cause the layoffs resulted from an investigation over recent months by
the Department’s Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance, which recently
notified SolarWorld Americas about its decision.

The decision means that many of the impacted employees may be eligible
to tap federal assistance with job placement; expenses for job searches,
relocation and retraining; income support during full-time retraining;
and a tax credit on health-insurance premiums.

U.S. law dictates that the Labor Department may certify workers
adversely impacted by imports for trade-adjustment assistance only if it
finds that an increase in competing imports “contributed importantly” to
the decline in sales or production of a firm and to the cause for worker
layoffs.

Nearly 30 U.S. solar-panel producers ceased manufacturing operations
from 2012 to 2016, the period of investigation in the case, according to
ITC figures. During this period, global imports increased nearly
five-fold. This surge was led by China, whose imports rose by more than
700 percent, according to ITC data.

“We are grateful for the federal aid that will help our former workers
regain their employment footing,” said Juergen Stein, CEO and president
of SolarWorld Americas. “We also are heartened that yet another federal
agency has confirmed our contention about the role of imports in those
layoffs.”

About SolarWorld REAL VALUE: SolarWorld Americas Inc., the
largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for more than 42
years, produces and sells high-tech solar power solutions and, in doing
so, contributes to a cleaner energy supply throughout the Americas. The
company maintains 430 megawatts of annual capacity to produce solar
cells and 550 MW of capacity to manufacture solar modules. The company’s
brand stands for a proven track record of quality and reliability, and
SolarWorld is the only producer whose industrial lineage has outlived
its products’ 25- and 30-year performance guarantees. SolarWorld upholds
high social standards and commits itself to resource- and
energy-efficient production. With its program Solar2World, the company
supports the expansion of solar power in developing countries in Latin
America. Connect with SolarWorld on Facebook,
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and www.solarworld.com.


Contacts

SolarWorld Americas Inc.
Ben Santarris, 503-693-5189
Mobile:
503-927-9858
Head of Corporate Communications
Ben.Santarris@SolarWorld.com