In January, President Trump imposed a four-year, 30 percent tariff on imported solar modules and cells, a hit to one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. The tariff will decrease by 5 percent each year it’s in effect.
The decision resulted from a trade case involving two foreign-owned companies that manufactured panels in the United States and had complained that they couldn’t compete with cheaper imported panels.
But the Solar Energy Industries Association states that solar panel manufacturing accounted for roughly 5 percent of the 38,000 solar-related manufacturing jobs in 2016, and that over 137,000 Americans worked in solar installation that year. The association estimates the decision will result in 23,000 lost jobs in 2018 alone.
— Kevin Ridder