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What Now? How You Should Be Positioning Your Business in Light of the ITC Ruling

The ITC ruling in favor of Suniva and SolarWorld on September 22 sent shockwaves throughout the global solar industry. But what does it really mean for solar customers, solar companies and the rest of the solar supply chain in the United States? Will the market suffer or flourish because of this trade war? How should you be positioning your business in light of the result? Hear from our experts about what happens next and how you can make sure your business doesn’t suffer from future repercussions.

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Abigail Ross Hopper

President and CEO - Solar Energy Industries Association

Abigail Ross Hopper is the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade organization for America's solar energy industries. She oversees all of SEIA's activities, including government affairs, research, communications, and industry leadership.

Before joining SEIA, Abby was the Director of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. As the BOEM's second director, she weighed complex and sometimes conflicting factors to achieve balanced federal energy policy.

She served formerly as the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and has broad experience in the energy sector, including working with a wide variety of stakeholders as well as legal expertise. Abby led the MEA from 2012, first as Acting Director and then as Director in June 2013. She also served concurrently as Energy Advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley since 2010. As MEA Director, Abby was pivotal in ensuring the passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.

She was a lead negotiator representing the State’s interests in both the Exelon/Constellation merger and the FirstEnergy/Allegheny Energy merger, securing millions in benefits for Maryland and its citizens. Abby has also focused significant resources on improving the resiliency of the State’s electric utilities in the face of major storms.

Abby previously spent over two years as Deputy General Counsel with the Maryland Public Service Commission, during which she advised commissioners on a broad range of legal matters arising from their duties as utility regulators.

Before embarking on a career in public service, Abby spent nine years in private practice where she specialized in complex merger and investment counseling and corporate law.

Abby graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College.

Matthew R. Nicely

Partner - Hughes Hubbard & Reed

Matthew R. Nicely is a partner in the firm's International Trade and Customs practice group. His practice covers the full range of the US trade regulatory regime, including trade policy, trade remedies, customs, export controls, economic sanctions, anti-boycott and anti-corruption laws, like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He also advises clients on opportunities and risks presented by international obligations under bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade and investment agreements, including the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

Matt has represented clients across multiple industries in antidumping (AD), countervailing duty (CVD), and safeguard litigation, as well as the business implications of day-to-day trade and customs regulation. Relying on his knowledge of WTO agreements, Matt counsels clients on whether actions taken by member governments comply with WTO agreements, on implementation procedures under US law, and on methods for resolving trade disputes, including through formal dispute settlement.

Matt has represented clients before multiple US agencies and US courts, including in proceedings before the US Department of Commerce, US Customs and Border Protection, US International Trade Commission, and the Office of the US Trade Representative, and appeals before the US Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. His clients vary in scope and span the globe: governments, exporters of goods and services, importers, and producers and users of various metals, high-tech goods, auto parts, chemicals and many different consumer items from all over the world.

As an adjunct law professor at the American University’s Washington College of Law, Matt teaches a course called The US Trade Regime and coaches the school’s WTO moot court team. 

He has participated in various pro bono matters over the years, including advising Guantanamo Bay detainees on their petitions for writ of habeas corpus.

Dan Shugar

Chief Executive Officer - NEXTracker

As founder and CEO, Dan Shugar helped build NEXTracker into one of the fastest growing cleantech companies in the U.S. Before he started NEXTracker, he served as CEO for the innovative cell manufacturer Solaria Corp. Decades ago, Shugar played a leading role in commercializing the first utility-scale solar trackers while working at APS & NWP Corp. He later served as president of PowerLight Corp., which was acquired by SunPower in 2006. Shugar oversaw revenue growth at PowerLight and SunPower from less than $1 million to more than $830 million and was responsible for the completion of more than 500 projects serving commercial, industrial, and utility clients worldwide. He has invented various PV system applications, holds multiple U.S. patents and has published more than 50 technical papers. Shugar earned a BS in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Golden Gate University.

Moderator: Jennifer Runyon

Chief Editor - RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Jennifer is responsible for coordinating, writing and/or editing columns, features, news stories and blogs for the publications. She also serves as conference chair of Renewable Energy World Conference and Expo, North America. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, RenewableEnergyWorld.com was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.