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It amazes me how uninformed the commenters on this forum are. Walmart and the Chinese do not own First Solar. Some founders of Walmart are also large shareholders in First Solar, but that does not in any way make Walmart an owner of First Solar. Loan guarantees are not a loan of money. The guarantees provide a backstop in case of project failure, which buy the way has never happened with any of First Solar's utility scale projects. The benefit of the guarantee is to lower the financing costs for the project. In every case to date, once the project is under construction the project is sold to a third party, and the loan guaranty is then no longer needed. The net result is no money ever spent by US government and jobs for US manufacturing.
First Solar is the recent beneficiary of guaranteed loans from the Export-Import Bank. The Export-Import Bank is a government corporation that operates within the Executive Branch, with the mission of financing the foreign purchase of domestic goods. The unaccountable bank has rightly been labeled as corporate welfare by House conservatives, but was reauthorized by the Republican majority a few months back. The bank’s recent loan guarantee to support First Solar calls into question the wisdom of that reauthorization. First Solar, as pointed out by Ashe Schow at Heritage Action , is the last company a government...
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