The solar industry has been booming. In some states, solar threatens to upend fossil fuel profits, massive corporations are investing heavily and even oil giants are getting into solar. But Trump’s recent move to put 30% tariffs on solar panels could change that, killing up to 23,000 jobs and slowing down – or even stopping – the rapid industry growth.
Yesterday, Trump announced that there would be a 30% tariff placed on all imported solar panels, and all components used to create them. While no one can say for sure what impact this will have on the industry, many experts agree that the move will make solar much less attractive to investors and could cost thousands of jobs. The economic impacts will be felt not only by panel manufacturers but across the entire chain, including installers and companies that manufacture solar supplies.
ICYMI: The Trump administration's decision in the Section 201 solar trade case will cause 23,000 Americans to lose their jobs this year. #SaveSolarJobs https://t.co/7Ssa6CJ2j5 pic.twitter.com/CgxnJEfJhi
— Solar Industry (@SEIA) January 23, 2018
Solar has grown at 20% annually and employs over 260,000 people, with an average hourly wage for engineers, electricians and installers of $25 – $29. Obama placed similar tariffs on solar panels, but a loophole allowed Chinese manufacturers to move production to nearby countries. Trump’s move comes at a time when his administration has been working hard to bolster the fossil fuel industry, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, opening national parks to mining, and paying lip service to coal miners (without actually improving things for miners themselves).
— David Bywater (@DavidBywaterCEO) January 19, 2018
Trump just approved tariffs on imported solar products. Our statement on the misguided move which puts jobs and consumer savings at risk: https://t.co/mOrup52PL5 #SaveSolarJobs pic.twitter.com/v9bhDbMHcw
— votesolar (@votesolar) January 22, 2018