Tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump will cost the U.S. solar industry $19 billion in investment and lead to more than 62,000 lost jobs by 2021, according to a clean-energy trade group.
The report by the Solar Energy Industries Association comes as the U.S. International Trade Commission begins a review of the duties on imported panels enacted last year. The group is planning a rally Thursday in Washington calling for an end to the duties.
While the tariffs prompted a handful of manufacturers to open panel factories in the U.S., they drove up costs to build solar farms. Developers canceled 10.5 gigawatts of projects, enough to power 1.8 million homes. The net impact was 31 jobs lost for every new position created by the duties, according to the report.
“This stark data should be the predicate for removing harmful tariffs,” Solar Energy Industries Association Chief Executive Officer Abigail Ross Hopper said in the statement.
The tariffs, initially 30%, declined to 25% this year. Panel imports and installations have since rebounded. The duties are scheduled to drop by another 5% next year. But Hopper said the administration may push to curtail that step down, making the tariffs more expensive for developers.
“Our fear is that the administration will make them tougher,” she said on a call with reporters.
When asked about the duties last month, White House trade advise Peter Navarro said they’ve been good for solar.
“The Trump solar tariffs have been very effective at inducing hundreds of millions of dollars of new solar investment on U.S. soil and creating thousands of jobs,” he said in an email.
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