New solar panel tariff getting mixed reaction

Credit: Pixabay

SLINGERLANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – President Donald Trump announced his administration is imposing a hefty tariff on imported solar panels.

U.S. based manufacturers praised the decision, but others in the solar industry have a different view.

A large number of companies that install these panels see the tariffs as a job killer.

Kasselman Solar installs panels all over New York. Many of the solar panels are imported from China or South Korea.

The prospect of tariffs has caused Kasselman to delay expansion plans.

“It created a real cloud of ambiguity because we didn’t know if the tariffs were going to be retroactive, how they were going to be implemented, and the severity of them,” Steve Kasselman, President and CEO of Kasselman Solar, said.

Pres. Trump is imposing a 30 percent tariff on all imported solar panels with the rate declining before phasing out after four years. It’s part of his pledge to put American companies first.

Installers say their costs will rise and jobs will be lost.

Abigail Ross Hopper, President, and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association released this statement:

“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,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s President and CEO.

Back home in Colonie, Kasselman Solar received a batch of deliveries.

The company is stocking up as much as they can so that some customers can still go solar before prices go up.

“We’ve been pre-purchasing and reserving solar panels for future customers. Right now I think we have about 20 to 25 slots left for residential customers to sign up and avoid the tariffs.”

Tariffs are not only being imposed on imported solar panels but also on imported washing machines.

For large residential washing machines, tariffs will start at up to 50 percent and phase out after three years. The President’s decision followed recommendations for tariffs by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

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