January 22, 2018

President Trump’s Tariffs Put US Jobs, Solar Industry at Risk

Statement by John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (January 22, 2018)—President Donald Trump today imposed tariffs on imported solar panel materials that are key to America’s booming solar industry. These duties, intended as barriers to benefit U.S. solar panel manufacturers, will hurt America’s renewable energy market.

Below is a statement by John Rogers, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“There’s widespread opposition to solar tariffs across the political and economic spectrum. This issue has united conservatives and liberals unlike anything else I’ve seen during Mr. Trump’s presidency.  Sadly, his decision today burdens states with greater economic costs and attempts to derail clean energy progress.

“President Trump says his intention is to save jobs, but the specifics show this decision is a job killer. The first year of tariffs is high enough to blunt the growth of solar energy in the U.S. and hurt domestic solar jobs, but the package is not nearly enough to give U.S. solar panel manufacturers the ill-conceived walls of protectionism they were looking for.

“Tens of thousands of jobs in the solar sector could be stamped out, and it could hurt momentum at a time when we need to massively ramp up clean energy to reduce carbon emissions. It’s clear this administration has no interest in reducing U.S. emissions. The states are going to have to pick up the slack by strengthening regional policies."

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.