- President Trump on Monday announced a 30% tax on imported solar equipment, sending US solar stocks soaring.
- The move is being praised by some US businesses, but could hurt jobs in the long term, industry groups say.
President Trump on Monday announced a 30% tariff on imported solar equipment spanning at least the next four years, and many US solar stocks exploded on the news.
Here are the biggest movers:
- First Solar, a solar panel manufacturer based in Arizona, spiked 8% on the news.
- Vivint Solar, which sells and installs panels, also spiked 8% Tuesday morning. Unlike First Solar, Vivint is not vertically integrated and relies on several small suppliers for parts.
- SunPower, based in California, got a 5% boost after the news.
- SolarWorld, a German manufacturer with an American arm, gained 5% after the news.
The new rules come after a handful of US-based manufacturers complained cheaper imports from abroad – specifically from China – were hurting their business by undercutting prices.
SolarWorld had lobbied the International Trade Commission on behalf of the group, and released a statement Tuesday praising the new law:
“SolarWorld Americas appreciates the hard work of President Trump, the U.S. Trade Representative, and this administration in reaching today’s decision, and the President’s recognition of the importance of solar manufacturing to America’s economic and national security. We are still reviewing these remedies, and are hopeful they will be enough to address the import surge and to rebuild solar manufacturing in the United States.”
Despite the gains by US companies, several trade groups said the move would hurt the American solar industry in the long run.
“While tariffs in this case will not create adequate cell or module manufacturing to meet U.S. demand, or keep foreign-owned Suniva and SolarWorld afloat, they will create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving, which will ultimately cost tens of thousands of hard-working, blue-collar Americans their jobs,” Abigail Ross Hopper, head of the Solar Energy Industries Association said in a statement.
The group estimates 23,000 jobs could be lost this year as a result of the rule, and “will result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments.”
Solar energy has been one of the fastest growing areas of the workforce in recent years, the nonprofit Solar Foundation says, and currently employees more than 260,000 workers.