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article imageBipartisan House legislation would repeal Trump solar tariffs

By Karen Graham     Apr 21, 2018 in Politics
Washington - A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation that would throw out Trump administration tariffs on imported solar products.
House Bill H.B. 5571 was filed on Thursday by Representative Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada). The legislation has four co-sponsors, including Rep. Jarad Huffman (D-California), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-South Carolina), and Rep. Stephen Knight (R-California).
The Protecting Solar Jobs Act was introduced in the House Committee on Ways and Means. According to Green Tech Media, Rosen introduced the bill to protect renewable energy jobs in her home state of Nevada.
Rep. Sanford is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump's protectionist trade agenda. He noted that South Carolina has a vital solar industry that has led to the creation of over 7,000 jobs - jobs that are now at risk because of the tariffs. He added, “A tariff is a tax, and I don't know what good can possibly come as a consequence of stifling the growth of solar power. Solar power is one of the cheapest and fastest-growing renewable energy sources, and if we are really focused on becoming energy independent, now is no time to slow its growth."
Jacky Rosen
In a press release, Rep. Rosen stated: “Solar energy’s success throughout Nevada has led to new jobs, cheaper power bills, and the growth of a new industry that is diversifying our state’s economy, This Administration directly threatened the stability and financial well-being of our local solar industry when the President decided to impose a 30 percent tariff on imported panels. An attack on solar energy is an attack on the countless hardworking Nevadans who benefit from this growing industry, and my new bill will reverse this damaging decision.”
Trump claimed tariffs would create jobs
Back in January, Trump signed off on the new 30 percent tariff on foreign-built solar cells and panels, telling America the tariffs would “create jobs in America for Americans.”
“You’re going to have people getting jobs again, and we’re going to make our own product again,” Trump said in January. “It’s been a long time.” But according to Minnesota's Star Tribune, many in the solar industry fear the tariffs will slow the growth of renewable energy by raising prices, a possibility that could cost hundreds of solar jobs in the state.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the Washington-based Solar Foundation found that the solar industry accounted for 8,371 jobs in Nevada. Of that number, about 12 percent of those jobs were filled with veterans. And about 95 percent of the jobs were in sales, installation, and development.
On March 28, 2018, the Solar Foundation released an updated map on the number of solar jobs in every state, metropolitan area, county, and congressional district, revealing the geographic distribution of America’s 250,271 solar jobs.
Solar Foundation
In the Solar Foundation's National Solar Jobs Census 2017, it was found that nationwide, solar employment declined 3.8 percent, from 260,077 jobs in 2016 to 250,271 in 2017. At the same time, solar jobs increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in major metropolitan areas throughout the nation.
Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation said, “As solar technologies rapidly become more affordable and abundant, solar jobs nationwide have nearly tripled since 2010. These jobs are in solar installation, project development, sales and marketing, manufacturing, engineering, and many other skill areas. In the future, states and localities should look to solar as a key strategy for building local economies and supporting high-quality careers.”
More about solar tariffs, Bipartisan legislation, reverse tariffs, Trump, Politics
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