SALT LAKE CITY (Tuesday, January 23, 2018)- On Monday, President Trump announced his decision to impose a 30 percent tariff on imported solar cells and panels. This tariff will undoubtedly hurt American jobs as the majority of solar employees are tied to installations, not manufacturing.
The solar industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the national economy and now employs more than 260,000 Americans. In Utah, the industry has been one of the top job producing economic sectors over the last few years and has brought billions of dollars in economic investment to our state.
“The Utah solar industry was disappointed to see President Trump impose a tariff on imported solar panels yesterday, a tariff that will harm American jobs- not produce them,” said Ryan Evans, president, Utah Solar Energy Association. “A four year declining tariff is not significant enough to develop solar manufacturing jobs but will increase costs and therefor harm the job growth the industry has seen.”
“In our opinion, this is not good public policy. It will result in a significant net decrease in American jobs, including losses in Utah. The solar industry in our state, however, will find a way to pull through this,” said Evans. “Solar companies in Utah are well positioned to absorb this increase and have already been working to bring down installation costs to keep solar affordable in a low cost energy state. Now more than ever, pro-solar state policies are even more important and we will continue to keep Utah as a leading state for solar energy development”
About Section 201 Trade Case for Solar Cells and Modules:
- Two foreign owned US manufacturing companies brought the Section 201 Trade Case forward.
- There were 38,000 jobs in solar manufacturing in the U.S. at the end of 2016, and all but 2,000 made something other than cells and panels, the subject of this case. Those other 36,000 Americans manufactured metal racking systems, high-tech inverters, machines that improved solar panel output by tracking the sun and other electrical products.
- More than 230,000 jobs in the solar industry come from the installation side of the industry.
- After consultation with the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), USTR recommended and the President chose to take action by applying the following additional duties:
* First 2.5 gigawatt of imported cells are excluded from the additional tariff.
President, Utah Solar Energy Association