Some unexpected allies are signing on to the effort to dissuade the Trump administration from imposing tariffs on solar panels imported into the United States.
Domestic manufacturers including SolarWorld and Suniva Inc. have petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to impose a tariff that critics say could double the cost of solar panels for customers and slash the installation of clean, cheap solar generation by two-thirds over the next five years. The ITC is considering the request, which political observers say meshes ominously with Trump’s protectionist proclivities.
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However, “a broad industry and conservative coalition” has formed to resist the petition, The Hill reports. The “Energy Trade Action Coalition includes mainly non-solar companies, along with trade associations, utilities, retailers, unions, conservative groups, and others,” the U.S. political news outlet writes.
Among them is the staunchly conservative Heritage Foundation. “Tariffs meant to protect one industry can, and often do, have significant damaging effects on other domestic industries,” it wrote in a statement announcing the new coalition. “Imposing tariffs under Section 201, as Suniva and SolarWorld request, would be a step backward by adding another layer of federal subsidies, which is something the Heritage Foundation opposes in all instances.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association is warning that new solar tariffs would imperil 88,000 jobs across the industry.