President Donald Trump’s attempt to create U.S. jobs by taxing solar panel imports could backfire.
That’s according to the CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association trade group, who says it’s domestic workers that will feel the pain.
“We have been the fastest growing form of new energy...and this is putting the brakes on that crazy growth,” Abigail Ross Hopper told Cheddar in an interview. “These are not people who are looking for what nationality the company they work for is. They just want to feed their families and pay their mortgages. And those are the people whose jobs are at risk.”
Earlier this week President Trump signed a law that would impose a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panel and sells, a move the administration says will encourage domestic manufacturing.
But the SEIA says the vast majority of the 260,000 Americans employed in the industry work in peripheral industries like installation. Ross Hopper says the bill will result in 23,000 layoffs this year and delay or cancel billions of dollars of investment in the sector.
She also says it might dissuade U.S. consumers from going green.
“Most [businesses and consumers] want to choose solar because it saves them money,” she said. “This decision changes that calculus.”
For full interview click here.