Commerce Department sides with SolarWorld

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The U.S. Commerce Department determined "critical circumstances," meaning that tariffs will be charged retroactively if SolarWorld wins their case against cheap Chinese imports.

The finding was positioned by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing as the Department of Commerce backing the coalition's claims of a surge of cheap imports in recent months. Trina Solar, one of the Chinese companies named by SolarWorld, disputed those findings last week.
"After several years of massive imports of illegally subsidized and dumped Chinese solar products, the U.S. solar manufacturing industry and its workers greatly appreciate the Department of Commerce’s finding that importers of Chinese products have mounted a massive surge in product to evade accountability to U.S. and international trade law," said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., in a press release.

Read more at Sustainable Business Oregon.

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There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

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That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

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