I think that President Trump and his advisors need to really look at the importance of not putting a tariff on the solar panel industry and why the cost for solar panels should remain low no matter where they come from. Let the Chinese subsidize the panels for the benefit of the world.
By putting a tariff on solar panels coming from China and other countries (it is such a small industry, too small for one of your tariff fights) you play right to the environmentalists’ hands that think you are against them. I have defended your environmental policies up to now. But not here! This is going to drive the cost up for solar installations.
This will not help the U.S. solar panel manufacturing industry, because it will raise the cost of all installations, lowering the amounts of installations by millions. With higher prices, we will see fewer purchases and obviously a decrease in the installation portion of the industry. The installation industry is where the jobs are. These are the jobs that pay better because the manufacturing end of it is primarily robotic (this is where China out does us).
If we sell one million fewer homes this year with solar panels, how many manufacturing jobs are we really saving? This tariff is going to cost us to sacrifice three times the amount of jobs in the installation industry which has higher wages. And do less to lower our carbon imprint. It takes less than one person to manufacture enough solar panels to do five houses on a given day. It takes two or three people per house to install one set of solar panels.
Trying to save three or four U.S. solar panel companies is going to cost us 200,000 or 300,000 jobs in solar Job installations. And lower demand. A tariff is going to make the price of all solar (not just the ones you are protecting) go up. The solar industry will charge higher prices selling less solar therefore having fewer people do the installation.
We really need to always look at the big picture because it sure looks like we have missed it. Somebody should do their homework before they make these large impact position decisions based on some lobbyists claims.