SunLink CEO Comment on President Donald Trump Announcement on Solar Tariffs
- Author: Arturo Norris Jan 23, 2018,
Jan 23, 2018, 9:54
Whereas tariffs might appear to support the Trump administration's "America first" economic stance, the solar panel tariff likely would do far more harm than good. China, in turn, would abandon its own tariffs on USA polysilicon, a key solar-panel ingredient.
Whirlpool said the Trump administration's action would result in more manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. The goal of those discussions must be fair and sustainable trade throughout the whole solar energy value chain, which would benefit US producers, workers, and consumers.
Anticipating further U.S. action, both Samsung and LG announced plans previous year to open new factories in the U.S. Samsung's facility in Newberry, South Carolina, already has begun initial production.
Goldman Sachs estimated the 30 percent "tariffs imply a potential 3-7 percent cost increase for utility-scale and residential solar costs, respectively". Petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld have said they can not compete with the surge of cheap imports, mostly from Chinese producers, which has caused solar panel prices to drop more than 30 percent since early 2016.
About SolarWorld REAL VALUE: SolarWorld Americas Inc., the largest US crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for more than 42 years, produces and sells high-tech solar power solutions and, in doing so, contributes to a cleaner energy supply throughout the Americas.
Overall, about 260,000 Americans work in the solar industry, up 24% from 2015, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
"Although the safeguard measures are implemented, we will keep exporting to the U.S. market, while seeking ways to expand our market share in Europe, Japan and Australia", said a senior official at Hanwha Q Cells Co., the nation's No. 1 solar cell maker.
The tariffs approved by the president were not as strong as the ones recommended by the International Trade Commission.
"Solar is really just starting to take off because it is truly a win-win-win situation" for consumers, workers and the environment, he said.
In the case of washing machines, Trump acted in response to a petition from Whirlpool, which complained about low-priced competition from rivals Samsung and LG.
The Korean company has been preparing to begin operation of its washing machine plant in Tennessee several months earlier than scheduled to counter rising United States pressure.
"Today's announcement is a great loss for American consumers and workers", a Samsung spokesperson told CNET. "By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American workers will compete on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts".
"Here's something Republicans used to understand: Tariffs are taxes on families", said Sen.
"Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this - not big companies", Sasse said in a statement. Those levies were less severe than Suniva and SolarWorld, the two companies that sought the government relief, had requested.
The US president approved the steep tariffs - up to 50 per cent on large washing machines over three years and up to 30 per cent on solar panels over four years - to protect US producers, US trade officials said.
In a statement, nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives calls Trump's decision "a setback for clean energy and jobs in frontline communities".
The long-awaited decision would affect crystalline silicon photovoltaic components.