This Trade Dispute Could Upend America’s Booming Solar Industry: Here’s What It Means For You

Breaking Energy

10/3/2017

If you work in the solar industry, want to buy solar panels or care about climate change, you may want to pay attention.

Two floundering solar manufacturers, with no concerns but their corporate bottom line, are about to pull the rug from under one of America’s fastest-growing industries and tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.

The manufacturers petitioned the U.S International Trade Commission this spring to take action against foreign competitors, claiming overseas rivals export products to America’s solar market at prices they can’t match. This at a time when the United States solar industry as a whole is booming.

In a decision that shook the industry and a host of free-trade advocates, ITC agreed with these single two petitioners and it’s now up to President Trump to decide whether to retaliate with an import tariff or other punitive options.

There’s a good chance he will – and this would be really bad news for American solar companies and consumers alike.

What a solar trade war would mean for you

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels or work in the solar installation industry, you’ll be hit the hardest.

The general consensus is that up to 100,000 American solar jobs are at risk, because placing a tariff or artificial floor price on solar products would make them more expensive for customers.

Prices could double and residential demand could dry up, almost overnight.

Large commercial solar projects would also become less cost-competitive and demand would decline long-term. Solar installation companies – which had the fastest job growth of any industry over the last few years – would be forced to slash jobs.

And the pain would spread beyond solar customers and workers. It would ultimately affect us all.

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