Trump's tariffs on solar will be devastating to the industry

26 January, 2018, 01:51 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump is approving tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help USA manufacturers.

The Solar Energy Industries Association says the tariffs will result in the loss of 23,000 industry jobs this year, according to the Associated Press. "The American Made Solar Prize will galvanize our country's entrepreneurs, allow them to utilize technologies and innovations developed through DOE's early-stage research and development, and, ultimately, bring new American-made products to market". The tariff then falls to 25% a year later, 20% the following year, before capping at 15% in the fourth year.

A tariff of 30% will be applied to imported solar panels, most of which come from China. It's billed as a way to give American made solar panels a boost.

President Trump slaps additional tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines as he continues to make good on his campaign promise to protect American workers.

The tariffs are the first signed off directly by Trump since becoming president. Critics have warned that the levies will stifle investment in USA solar projects, while United States manufacturers will be unable to scale up to meet any new demand. Plus, numerous issues that plague renewable energy generation in this country - an uncertain policy environment, meager federal investment and business support relative to our worldwide counterparts - have yet to be resolved.

U.S. officials said more trade enforcement actions would follow.

MIDF Research said export growth to the United States could decelerate by between 3% and 5%, as the new tariffs on solar panels and washing machines will affect Malaysian manufacturers.

First Solar, a solar panel manufacturer based in Arizona, spiked 8% on the news.

SolarWorld laid off hundreds previous year as it struggled to stay open amid a trade dispute with Chinese competitors, which SolarWorld argued has flooded the market with cheap products, forcing it and other American-made manufacturers out of business.

This is the latest overtly protectionist measure taken by the USA since the beginning of the Trump Administration, which appears to have abandoned free trade as a guiding principle of the country.

Solar panel importers will have to pay the tariff for four years.

Korean companies like Samsung and LG are expected to be hit hard. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in making the announcement.


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