Solar industry urges Trump to reverse tariffs after job losses

Source: By Josh Siegel and John Siciliano, Washington Examiner • Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The solar industry suffered a loss of nearly 8,000 jobs in 2018, its second straight year of of job losses after seven years of growth.

The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit group, reported the job losses Tuesday, attributing the 3 percent loss in solar industry jobs primarily to a slowdown in solar panel installations due to their higher price.

The industry’s main trade group Tuesday blamed Trump’s tariffs on solar panels for the job declines, and called on the administration to terminate the tariffs.

“The impact these unnecessary tariffs are having on America’s economy and its workers should not be ignored,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The damage, from a decline in jobs to a decline in deployment, far outweighs any potential benefits the administration intended.”

“We hope this data serves as a wake-up call to the administration that the tariffs should be reversed before any more Americans lose their jobs,” she said.

In January 2018, Trump imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels as part of his trade agenda to target cheap products made by China and other Asian countries. The tariffs, to be levied over four years, are for 30 percent in the first year, 25 percent in the second, 20 percent in the third, and 15 percent in the fourth year.