U.S. solar group says Trump tariffs killing jobs; White House says 'fake news'

Feb 2006
(Reuters) - The U.S. solar industry warned on Tuesday that the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported panels will cost the United States 62,000 jobs and $19 billion (£14.81 billion) in investment, an estimate the White House dismissed as “fake news”.

The industry’s top trade group, the U.S. Solar Industries Association (SEIA), said the lost investment equated to 10.5 gigawatts in missed solar energy installations, enough to power about 1.8 million homes.

President Donald Trump imposed the four-year tariff program on imported panels in early 2018, starting at 30% and dropping by five percentage points each year.

The SEIA report based its gloomy forecasts on that regime remaining unchanged, saying the industry will create 62,000 fewer jobs than it otherwise would have between 2017 and 2021. That’s more than the 53,000 workers employed in U.S. coal mining, an industry Trump has promised to revive.

“Solar was the first industry to be hit with this administration’s tariff policy, and now we’re feeling the impacts that we warned against two years ago,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president of SEIA, said in a statement.