Proposed Tariffs Threaten U.S. Solar Industry

Potential tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports could threaten the growth of the U.S. solar industry.  According to the Phoenix Business Journal, studies show that between 14,877 and 49,589 jobs would not form in the solar industry between now and 2014 if the current proposed tariffs on Chinese imports were to take effect.

These tariffs come in response to a current trade case made by German manufacturer SolarWorld and several other solar panel manufactures who are seeking to combat the rise of Chinese solar panels in the U.S. market. The companies’ concern is that the influx of low-cost Chinese panels will threaten their business in the U.S.

In their claim, SolarWorld has asked that the U.S. Department of Commerce enact tariffs of between 50 percent and 250 percent, amounts that would shut a majority of Chinese manufacture’s out of the U.S. market. A study pushed by the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) shows that a loss of Chinese panels of this magnitude will hinder the expected job growth in the solar industry over the next three years.

The study also estimates that the industry would experience a loss in potential revenue between $621 million and $2.6 billion depending on the tariff rate.

The tariff is expected to partially effect states like California and Arizona, which already have growing solar industries. This is causing many industry players to take the CASE-backed position that free trade should rule the solar market.

To read more on the proposed tariff, click here.

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