Party of “Free Trade” Institutes Solar Panel Tariff

As TIME reported on Monday, President Trump will be slapping tariffs on imported solar panels.

In October, the US International Trade Commission recommended a 35% tariff on solar panels, concluding that the access to cheap imported panels are hurting US manufacturers. Taking the panel’s advise, Trump opted to institute a 30% tax on imported solar panels.

As TIME reported, “The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the tariffs, Trump said in a statement Monday. The president approved four years of tariffs that start at 30 percent in the first year and gradually drop to 15 percent.”

While this move can come as no surprise to those concerned with Trump’s openness towards economic protectionism, it illustrates the hypocrisy of the GOP. As the party of “free trade,” this move by POTUS shows that the Republican Party only pays lip service to free-market ideals.

“We estimate that this approach threatens $500 million worth of solar projects in Colorado by making them substantially more expensive,” said COSEIA Executive Director Rebecca Cantwell.

“Every American loses with a higher cost of power,” said Paul Spencer, CEO of the Clean Energy Collective in Louisville.

With solar panel pricing projected to increase to 2016-levels, many players in the solar industry are now forced to walk away from their projects dealing a huge blow to the ongoing development and improvement of solar technology nation-wide.

It’s no secret that tariffs harm consumers and drive up costs. And, whether you agree or not that global warming is a threat, the benefits behind incentivizing green energy are hard to argue with. Driving up prices, and throwing a wrench into the gears of a developing green energy market, only seek to benefit the cronies of the GOP and serve as no benefit to American consumers.

Any American that has an interest in protecting free trade should be angry as hell right now.

ArticleJoshua Eakle