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

May 6, 2021
There needs to be a fourfold increase in the number of workers employed in the US solar industry for the country to achieve President Biden’s ambition of creating a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, a new report suggests.
April 29, 2021
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has unveiled a new tool to make it easier for solar developers to trace where their modules and technologies are made and ensure an ethical supply chain.
April 16, 2021
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has unveiled a new environmental and social justice platform to improve access to employment within the renewables sector, and to low-cost clean energy across the US.
April 14, 2021
Meyer Burger is on track to start shipments of its first heterojunction (HJ) solar modules made in Germany to distributors in July.
March 25, 2021
Thin-film laser systems equipment supplier LPKF Laser & Electronics suffered from delays in receiving new expected orders from two long-stand customers last year.
March 23, 2021
Lightsource bp has been selected to build, own and operate seven solar arrays in Pennsylvania that will provide nearly half of the state government’s electricity.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
May 26, 2021
Session 1 - 7:00 AM (BST) | Session 2 - 5:00 PM (BST)
Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021
Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021