First Solar turns lower as relief rally over tariffs fades

The unnamed company, which is billed as a "leading worldwide manufacturer of solar panels and modules", approached city officials in Jacksonville, early January about opening what it called its first manufacturing and assembly operation in the USA, with a commitment to create up to 800 jobs by the end of 2019, according to records filed in the city. At the time, this was described as "like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit".

Kasselman Solar installs panels all over NY. The US may not be seeing the same job expansion in solar-one in 50 jobs created in 2016-anytime soon.

This has sparked opposition from several groups, such as the Solar Energy Industries Association, who have predicted a loss of 23,000 USA jobs as a direct result of the tariffs. Reports are circulating that a solar manufacturer is considering opening a new module factory in Florida. Still, even the threat of tariffs has already prompted solar developers to stop construction and start hoarding solar panels, Bloomberg reported in September.

But other manufacturers in the supply chain could take a hit, said Ross Hopper.

"SolarWorld laid off much of its workforce and Suniva was forced into bankruptcy, even as US solar panel installations grew dramatically in recent years".

The administration cast Monday's decisions as part of Trump's pledge to put American companies and jobs first. "Instead, this profoundly political move will make solar power more expensive for everyday Americans while propping up two failing, foreign-owned companies".

"This is bad for American jobs, bad for the consumer", he said.

Kudlow discussed trade policy a day after President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on imported solar equipment and washing machines.

The foreign ministry defended China's role as a global trader on Monday after the US Trade Representative's office said Washington had made a mistake by supporting Beijing's WTO membership on terms that failed to open its economy. Even though the USA had imposed tariffs on Chinese solar energy products before, Chinese firms moved production to other countries in order to evade them, he said.

"Mexico will use all available legal resources in response to the United States decision to apply protections on Mexican washing machines and solar panels", its Economy Department said in a statement.

The announcement came with Trump's scheduled travel to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. The companies recommended applying a tariff of 25 cents per watt on solar cells and 32 cents per watt on modules.

A 30 percent tariff will be imposed on solar panel components, with the rate declining over four years.

A 10-cents-per-watt tariff could reduce construction of large, utility-scale solar farms by 9 percent, GTM estimates.

In a joint statement, Suniva and SolarWorld "applauded" Trump, but urged him to increase the first-year tariff to 50 percent. Despite the aggressive rhetoric, the tariff will not be limited to Chinese imports. Solar jobs grew 17 times faster than the overall us economy, according to a report a year ago by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

  • Rogelio Becker