The U.S. tariff hike on solar power equipment - which could be as high as 30% - has widely been seen as a blow against Chinese companies, which are the world's top manufacturers of solar panels. These new tariffs however, will hinder the growth of Virginia's solar industry.
The scary part is he really seems to believe this.
It may be a stretch to say that President Trump is sabotaging the solar industry, especially since the argument that the tariff would make American solar panel production more competitive makes sense on paper.
Even more worrisome is that other countries will retaliate against the U.S.by initiating their own tariffs and a global trade war could start.
The company did not specify a reason for the decision but said it would continue to "closely monitor treatment of imports of solar cells and modules under the US trade laws".
Even if the two sides resolve their solar disputes, China has spent the last three years building up its own polysilicon industry, making it harder for USA companies to regain the access to the market. They merely have to show they were hurt by imports, which is to say by competition. He's talking about American jobs to be sure, but he's also made it clear he doesn't care if those jobs are created by foreign companies. SEIA predicts that the tariff will translate to a loss of roughly 23,000 solar jobs this year alone. These new solar tariffs won't increase demand for solar panels, won't encourage domestic producers to produce more efficiently, and won't save domestic solar manufacturing jobs.
President Trump, on the other hand, feels the tariffs will create jobs and revive a US manufacturing sector that has been decimated by imports. The growth of the solar industry not only reduces our greenhouse gas emissions, combatting climate change, but also encourages America's energy independence.
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Roger Garbey, from the Goldin Solar company, installs a solar panel system on the roof of a home a day after the Trump administration announced it will impose duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made overseas on January 23, 2018 in Palmetto Bay, Florida.
While the tariff is 30 percent this year, it'll decrease by five percent each year, eventually reaching 15 percent in year four. Above that the tariff will go to 50 percent. Tariffs for the latter will be raised to 20 percent on 1.2 million units in the first year and then 50 percent after that. And in truth, more tariffs won't encourage domestic solar manufacturers to produce any more efficiently while the higher cost of solar panels won't encourage solar installers to purchase any more solar panels, hobbling the solar industry for the next couple years. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster is anxious they'll hurt the investment climate and invite retaliation.
You can't exactly blame those naysayers, a rare combination of anti-Trump liberals and pro-free trade conservatives. With exports of $30.9 billion in 2016 and among the country's highest level of exports per capita, SC knows better.
The European Union threatened to retaliate if the US restricts imports from the bloc.
Although polysilicon makers hope that Trump's new tariffs will force China to the bargaining table, there's alsoa chance it will harden Beijing's position, and prompt further retaliation.
Both China and South Korea condemned the tariffs, and South Korea is expected to bring a complaint to the World Trade Organization.
JinkoSolar did not specify the size or location of its planned USA factory, but a local newspaper in Jacksonville, Florida, reported that JinkoSolar was most likely the unnamed company entering a $410 million factory-building deal with the city.