February 8, 2018 Read More →

Study: Trump Policies Have Cost U.S. Solar Industry 10,000 Jobs


President Donald Trump’s policies toward the American solar industry are partly responsible for the loss of nearly 10,000 jobs last year, according to a new report.

The industry, which employs 250,271 workers—more than fossil fuel industries like coal and natural gas combined —lost 9,800 jobs in 2017, according to a census published Wednesday by the Solar Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for the solar industry.

Last month, the Trump administration set a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels.

But jitters leading up to that decision contributed to a 3.8 percent decline in the number of jobs in the industry over the past year, the study found. The data were gathered from 5,930 solar energy industry players and other businesses that serve the sector.

The loss in the number of jobs was the first time the Solar Foundation has seen solar energy employment contract since it began tracking the numbers in 2010.

“Many in the industry reported that the tariffs would increase the cost of panels and suppress sales and employment, particularly in the demand-side sectors of the industry,” which includes installation and sales, the study found. It also noted that the slowdown is partly due to the expiration of the federal investment tax credit, which allowed the industry to expand rapidly.

Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on imports came after two solar manufacturers in the U.S. petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission last April, arguing that cheap solar imports were hurting their manufacturing business.

“Although the Census survey was conducted while the trade case decision was still pending, most (71 percent) Census respondents reported that the case negatively impacted them in 2017,” the survey found.

More: Trump’s Policies Are Costing 10K Jobs in America’s Solar Power Industry

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