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Solar Tariffs On Pace to Slash 62,000 Jobs, Group Says

Dec. 3, 2019
The Solar Energy Industries Association is planning a rally Thursday calling for an end to the duties.

Tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump will cost the U.S. solar industry $19 billion in investment and lead to more than 62,000 lost jobs by 2021, according to a clean-energy trade group.

The report by the Solar Energy Industries Association comes as the U.S. International Trade Commission begins a review of the duties on imported panels enacted last year. The group is planning a rally Thursday in Washington calling for an end to the duties.

While the tariffs prompted a handful of manufacturers to open panel factories in the U.S., they drove up costs to build solar farms. Developers canceled 10.5 gigawatts of projects, enough to power 1.8 million homes. The net impact was 31 jobs lost for every new position created by the duties, according to the report.

“This stark data should be the predicate for removing harmful tariffs,” Solar Energy Industries Association Chief Executive Officer Abigail Ross Hopper said in the statement.

The tariffs, initially 30%, declined to 25% this year. Panel imports and installations have since rebounded.

“The Trump solar tariffs have been very effective at inducing hundreds of millions of dollars of new solar investment on U.S. soil and creating thousands of jobs,” Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, said in an email last month when asked about the tariffs’ overall impact.

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