Trump’s Solar Tariffs Will Kill Jobs, Increase Carbon Emissions & Drive Up Consumer Costs

WASHINGTON – The tariff penalties imposed by President Trump on imported solar panel components today will hurt one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy and significantly increase the costs of new solar systems to power America’s homes and businesses.

Kevin Steinberger, policy analyst, Climate and Clean Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued the following statement:

“President Trump just placed a huge and unnecessary hurdle in front of an industry that’s hitting its stride. This shortsighted and counterproductive decision couldn’t come at a worse time. We can’t afford to handicap such a critical resource for powering America’s clean energy economy.

“The cost of generating solar energy from rooftop panels has plummeted by more than 85 percent in less than a decade, but President Trump’s action will slow that progress. Higher-priced panels will dramatically reduce the pace of new solar energy installations, increase climate-changing emissions, and lead to significant job losses nationwide.”


Suniva and SolarWorld, two foreign-owned manufacturers operating in the U.S., filed a complaint in May 2017 with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming that they were forced into bankruptcy because of competition from cheap imports. The ITC ruled in the manufacturers’ favor, and recommended a variety of remedies.

This action comes even though industry, workers, organizations from across the political spectrum, and both Democratic and Republican members of Congress urged the Trump Administration not to stymie U.S. solar deployment. Today’s decision affects imported photovoltaic equipment that is used to make solar panels.

For more information, see these blogs:  

Sunshot Target Achieved Three Years Early, But Clouds Linger

Trump Is Playing Mr. Grinch with Renewable Energy

U.S. Clean Energy Jobs Surpass Fossil Fuel Employment

To learn more, see NRDC’s report “America’s Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future.”   


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

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