Helios joins SolarWorld in going public on China complaint

SolarWorld was joined Thursday by Helios Solar Works as a public face of the trade complaint against cheap Chinese solar panels.

SolarWorld was joined Thursday by Helios Solar Works as a public face of the trade complaint against cheap Chinese solar panels.

And then there were two.

Since first filing its case with the U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission last October, SolarWorld has been standing alone as the sole public member of the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, the seven-company group behind the effort to impose tariffs on cheap Chinese solar imports.

On Thursday another company stepped forward from the shadows: Helios Solar Works of Milwaukee.

"We have supported these trade cases from the beginning, and we are pleased to publicly declare that support," said Steve Ostrenga, chief executive officer of Helios, in a press release issued by the coalition. "Our country can't afford to give up manufacturing jobs in growth industries to nations that engage in illegal and harmful trade practices."

The remaining five founding members of the the coalition — which officials say now includes some 150 U.S. companies —are remaining anonymous for now, a common practice in these cases to protect against business retaliation.

A preliminary determination from the Department of Commerce on the complaint, which takes issue with Chinese subsidies, is due March 19.

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