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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2012
Melissa DeLaney, GPEC
City of Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord testifies at International Trade Commission on solar tariffs
PHOENIX, Ariz. – In support of the prospering solar and renewable energy industry in the Greater Phoenix metro area and the more than 9,000 jobs it supports, City of Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord today testified against proposed tariffs on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic cells and modules at the final hearing of the International Trade Commission in Washington on this matter. She is the only U.S. elected official testifying at the hearing.
The City of Goodyear is a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), which works closely with companies on their expansion and relocation plans, including a concentrated approach to foreign-direct investment in the United States. In recent years, GPEC championed a renewable energy-specific incentive that has drawn numerous solar companies to Arizona, including China-based Suntech – the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer that located its only U.S. hub in the City of Goodyear.
Additionally, GPEC is working with another dozen Chinese companies with investments totaling $400 million that have identified the Greater Phoenix region as a potential location for their projects.
“Many of Goodyear’s economic development efforts center on solar or foreign-direct investment. As a small city located in a Foreign Trade Zone, we want more Suntechs – not less,” said Mayor Lord, a GPEC Board Director who also leads the Ambassador Program, comprised of more than 1,000 individuals from the public and private sectors. “Today, Greater Phoenix has more than 260 companies in the solar supply chain and 27 manufacturing facilities, primarily because leaders in our region implemented a strategic plan to facilitate an industry cluster for renewable companies to create a more diverse and sustainable employer base.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if implemented, these tariffs would have a detrimental effect not only on our existing solar and renewable energy industry but also in our ability to attract further investments in this sector from around the world,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “It would send a signal that the U.S. is closed for business when it comes to this flourishing global industry.”
GPEC recently filed a formal letter of protest to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission against the tariffs. To view the letters, please visit www.gpec.org/tariff.
“In Goodyear, a town of just 70,000, Suntech employs more than 100 well-trained professionals and, if market demand continues, has plans to more than double that number for a second production line,” Mayor Lord stated. “I’m worried that the imposition of punitive duties will put both current and future jobs at risk, in addition to those at related companies within the supply chain and the residual effects they could have on the people, schools and welfare of my community.”
The Brattle Group recently reported that a 100 percent tariff would result in estimated job losses between 17,000 and 50,000 in 2014. If implemented these tariffs would be detrimental not only to Arizona’s solar industry but also to the entire industry nationwide and the U.S. economy as a whole, in addition to substantial job losses.
About the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC)
A true public/private partnership, GPEC is the regional economic development organization for Greater Phoenix. Working with its 20 member communities, Maricopa County and more than 150 private investors, GPEC attracts quality businesses to this dynamic region. By creating a high-performance economy through capital investments and jobs, Greater Phoenix companies enjoy a business climate where they can compete and thrive in today's global economy. Since 1989, GPEC has worked to achieve an economically sound and sustainable region. For more information, visit www.gpec.org
– GOODYEARAZ.GOV –