The White House-connected Podesta Group is defending Chinese solar power interests and their effort to fight off tariffs on their panels that have flooded the U.S.

Acting on a tariff petition filed in October by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, the Commerce Dept. ruled Jan. 30 that Chinese companies have sent a “massive surge” of panels and modules to the U.S.

A decision is due next month on whether Chinese companies are guilty of “dumping” and subject to tariffs retroactive to Dec. 3.

Podesta represents the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, which is bankrolled by China’s Suntech Power Holding, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy Holding.

CASE commissioned a study by The Brattle Group that claims a 100 percent tariff would result in the loss of 50,000 American jobs over the next three years. Brattle predicts that a 100 percent levy would result in a loss of up to $2.7B to the U.S. economy.

The Coalition that filed the petition is led by the U.S. arm of Germany’s SolarWorld.

CASE president Jigar Shah said a tariff would be devastating for American workers. “We cannot allow one company’s anti-China crusade to threaten the U.S. solar industry and tens of thousands of American jobs,” he said on Jan. 30.

Tony Podesta is leading the firm's Team China.