Placing Tariffs on Solar Panel Industry Would Cost U.S. Jobs, Estimates Show

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The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has set its sights on the solar panel industries of the world and determined that foreign competitors were actively harming American solar panel companies. In what is now being argued as a hasty decision, the ITC will soon recommend tariffs to President Trump in an effort to curb the supposed damage caused by foreign competitors. Economists and business professionals alike, including influential Fox News Host Sean Hannity, are now springing quickly to warn Trump of the backlash and economic damages those tariffs could cause.

Consider these fast facts about the American solar panel industry:

  • The majority of solar panels sold in America are actually manufactured in Asia.
  • Solar panel prices have fallen steadily in the last few years.
  • Installation of solar panels has grown 1,700% since 2008.
  • American jobs in the solar panel industry have increased 17x faster than jobs in most other U.S. markets.
  • 85% of solar panel jobs involve non-manufacturing aspects of the solar panel industry.

Introducing tariffs would assuredly raise the price of solar panel production, planning, and installation. Indeed, it is estimated that a tariff on photovoltaic modules would boost the price by another 100% per unit. Opponents of the tariffs also point out that the two companies that first complained of foreign competitors are solar panel manufacturers that have either gone bankrupt or filed for insolvency. Essentially, the tariffs would try to back 15% of American solar panel jobs while severely jeopardizing all the rest.

Trump Gets Final Say in Tariff Decision

The ITC is free to devise tariffs and other fiscal penalties to place against foreign solar panel companies, but it is Trump who gets to decide if those should be implemented or not. In this regard, the outcome is difficult to predict. While he has certainly shown a proclivity for coal and gas industries, he has also hinted that a solar panel system could be used to power his proposed Mexican border wall. Furthermore, several parties are attempting to have Puerto Rico’s power grid rebuilt using primarily solar power.

Want to know more about the solar panel tariff situation? You may be interested in these articles:

For more news from the world of solar power, be sure to visit our blog for critical updates and other interesting bits of information about solar panels, installation, management, and more. If you are thinking about adding a solar panel system to your home or business, feel free to contact Sea Bright Solar at any time. Our New Jersey solar panel company would be happy to tell you more during an initial consultation. (We also have locations in New York and California.)

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