Trump imposes tariffs on imported solar equipment
Feb. 6, 2018
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced a 30 percent tariffs on imported solar equipment in an effort to encourage domestic production.
The tariffs are predicted to increase prices and kill over 20,000 jobs, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. In addition to helping domestic production, it is also a part of Trump’s plan to have a more aggressive strategy toward China.
“We don’t have manufacturers opening up plants because of tariffs,” says Arizona State University Economist Dennis Hoffman. “We want manufacturers playing plants and putting people to work because of efficiencies.”
Hoffman says the analysis shows an attempt to eliminate trade deficit based on merchandise and goods but does not include services. He says the tariffs are going to dissuade trade and may create a reaction for trade wars. Hoffman is also concerned that it will lead to inflation.
“Taking away efficient consumer choice is a job-destroying move,” says Hoffman. “This is where the jobs get lost. I have a lot less money to spend. If we’re going to impose tariffs like that we have far less dollars to spend locally on services, on local businesses.”
With Arizona being a state that hardly sees a day without sunshine, it’s hard to believe that it doesn’t take the lead with producing solar energy. Hoffman says the notion of protectionism that runs deep in the current administration may be something to worry about.