Survey says a majority of U.S. voters oppose solar panel tariffs

A new PPC survey finds that nearly six in ten voters in the United States oppose the new tariffs on solar panels imposed by the Trump administration, including a majority in very red districts.

However, nearly six in ten Republicans favor the tariffs.

The survey of 1,999 registered voters was conducted by the Program for Public Consultation (PPC) at the University of Maryland, and released by the nonpartisan organization, Voice of the People (VOP).

58 percent of the respondents said they opposed imposing the tariff on solar energy panels including an overwhelming 76 percent of Democrats and a slight majority (51 percent) of independents. However, 58 percent of Republicans favored the tariff.

The sample was divided six ways according to Cook PVI ratings for the district in which each respondent lived. Among those in very red districts, opposition to the tariffs was lower than for the nation as a whole, but still, a majority of 54 percent were opposed. In very blue districts, 67 percent were opposed.

Among Republicans, support for the tariffs is highly related to attitudes about Trump. Among Republicans who voted for Trump, 63 percent favored the tariffs, while among those who did not, only 27 percent did with 71 percent opposed.

On January 22, the Trump administration imposed a tariff on solar panels in response to requests from two solar panel producers with operations in the United States that said that solar panels were being imported from other countries, especially from Asia, in such high volumes that these companies could not compete.

The tariffs are 30 percent in year one, declining to 25 percent in year two, 20 percent in year three and 15 percent in year four. A new bill in Congress, with bipartisan sponsorship, has just been dropped to reverse these new tariffs.

More on the survey

Program for Public Consultation

Americans on Solar Panel Tariffs – A National Survey of Registered Voters April 2018

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