Trade tariffs have caused ‘devastating harm’ to US solar industry

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Image: Gag SKidmore.

Tariffs introduced to imported solar cells and modules have caused “devastating harm” to the US solar industry, new analysis compiled by the Solar Energy Industries Association has claimed.

Released ahead of the start of the midterm review process for the Section 201 tariffs in question, SEIA’s analysis claims that trade tariffs have prevented billions of dollars in new private sector investment, cost more than 62,000 jobs and meant that 10.5GW of installations have collapsed.

Furthermore, the trade body’s analysis claims that each day the trade tariffs continue to be in place costs the US more than US$10.5 billion in lost economic activity, while each new job in manufacturing created by the tariffs costs an additional 31 jobs further down the supply chain.

SEIA has also raised concerns that the Section 201 tariffs stand to unduly hit nascent markets in the US such as Alabama, Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas, claiming these markets “won’t be able to get off the ground” as the trade barriers are making the technology uncompetitive.

Abigail Ron Hopper, president and chief executive at SEIA, said the industry was now starting to feel the impacts of the Trump administration’s tariff policy which it first warned about two years ago.

“This stark data should be the predicate for removing harmful tariffs and allowing solar to fairly compete and continue creating jobs for Americans,” she said.

The analysis has been released amidst a wider campaign from SEIA to repeal the tariffs, starting 5 December 2019 when a rally will be held outside the US International Trade Commission building in Washington DC.

The Section 201 tariffs were imposed by the Trump administration early last year, introducing a 30% tariff on solar cells and modules imported to the US in a decision prompted by the Section 201 trade case brought forward by Suniva.

While the tariffs have boosted the fortunes of manufacturers with facilities in the US, much of the country’s domestic solar supply chain has condemned the tariffs for their detrimental impact at a time of significant need for greater renewable power.

The matter was further complicated in October this year, when a loophole for bifacial modules was slammed shut, then effectively re-opened a month later when SEIA gained a temporary restraining order on the withdrawal of the exemption for bifacial modules.

Read Next

October 15, 2021
European renewables investment management firm Greencoat Capital has confirmed its entry to the US renewables market and is plotting to invest up to US$5 billion over the next five years.
October 4, 2021
Renewables associations have welcomed rule changes in the US’ largest electricity market that are expected to result in more solar clearing capacity market auctions while making it easier for states to achieve their clean energy targets.
October 1, 2021
US renewables production reached an all-time high in the first half of the year, according to a Sun Day Campaign analysis that drew on new data from the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), with solar generation rising by almost 25%.
September 29, 2021
The US should aim for solar to account for 30% of the country’s electricity generation by 2030, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which has raised its previous target due to the growing urgency to tackle the climate crisis.
September 22, 2021
More than 190 US solar companies have warned that proposed duties on imports of modules and cells from three Southeast Asian countries represent an “immediate and serious threat” to America’s solar sector.
September 14, 2021
The Senate of Illinois has passed legislation that will commit the US state to reaching 50% renewables by 2040 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021