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Solar Panel Tariff
Renewable Energy Industry Impacted


The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. trade association for the industry,Replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches believes the tariff on solar cells and panels "will cause the loss of roughly 23,000 American jobs this year, including many in manufacturing, and it will result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments."

The Trump administration has announced 30% import duties on solar cells/panels in the first year of a 4-year tariff. That rate will "gradually drop" to 15%. The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the tariff.

In October, the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended a 35% rate duty on solar cell imports to ease the hurt on American solar manufacturers from cheap imported solar cells. China produces the most solar cell panels.

Suniva Inc., a U.S. solar panel manufacturer that recently went bankrupt, had lobbied for tariffs on imported solar panels, and cited "serious injury" from the flood of Asian panels into the U.S. Ironically, Suniva is Chinese owned (majority owner).

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports there were 38,000 jobs in solar manufacturing in the U.S. at the end of 2016, but only 2,000 of those jobs were making solar cells and panels. The 36,000 other Americans are manufactured metal racking systems, high-tech inverters, machines that improved solar panel output by tracking the sun and other electrical products.

"There's no doubt this decision will hurt U.S. manufacturing, not help it," said Bill Vietas, president of RBI Solar in Cincinnati. "The U.S. solar manufacturing sector has been growing as our industry has surged over the past five years. Government tariffs will increase the cost of solar and depress demand, which will reduce the orders we're getting and cost manufacturing workers their jobs."

Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, however, believes the tariffs are in America's best interest and will create more jobs.

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August 19, 2019, 10:26 am PDT

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