Will the U.S. Solar Survive the Current Trade War?

In addition to the higher installation costs resulting from higher panel prices, Trump’s tariffs led to the shelving of a number of expansion projects worth US$2.5 billion as of June, Reuters reported at the time. The figure compared with US$1 billion announced in local panel manufacturing capacity expansion, so the net effect was negative.

To date, the United States has imposed tariffs on more than US$250 billion of Chinese goods and commodities, and this includes steel and aluminum, both used in the manufacturing of solar panels. In other words, while the initial solar tariffs sought to protect local production, the later ones made this local production costlier because of the use of imported steel and aluminum. Replacing these cheaply has turned out to be a challenge as evidenced by more shelved expansion plans.


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