The solar industry may be challenged by Pres. Trump’s desire to help American manufacturing. He campaigned hard on a promise to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., and has reportedly been frustrated by that effort. Reportedly, a few weeks ago he cold his cabinet officials “I want tariffs.” That means basically putting a tax on goods imported into America in order to protect domestic companies. Most economists and business leaders think tariffs are a bad idea, but Pres. Trump is about to get one on his desk.
Two of the few U.S. solar manufacturers recently filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that China is engaging in unfair trade practices by selling cheap solar panels into the U.S. Most of the industry relies on cheap Chinese panels, and industry groups claim that tariffs could eliminate 88,000 jobs and kill many planned solar projects. On September 22, the International Trade Commission voted to uphold the complaint and that leaves the final decision up to Pres. Trump. The White House has not given any indication of what he will do, but the solar industry is worried.
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