Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In the biggest blow he's dealt to the renewable energy industry yet, President Donald Trump decided on Monday to slap tariffs on imported solar panels. The U.S. will impose duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry that relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply. Just the mere threat of tariffs has shaken solar developers in recent months, with some hoarding panels and others stalling projects in anticipation of higher costs. The Solar Energy Industries Association has projected tens of thousands of job losses in a sector that employed 260,000. The tariffs are just the latest action Trump has taken that undermine the economics of renewable energy.

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The administration has already decided to pull the U.S. out of the international Paris climate agreement, rolled back Obama-era regulations on power plant-emissions and passed sweeping tax reforms that constrained financing for solar and wind.

The import taxes, however, will prove to be the most targeted strike on the industry yet.

"Developers may have to walk away from their projects," Hugh Bromley, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an interview before Trump's decision. "Some rooftop solar companies may have to pull out" of some states.

"Trump wants to show he's tough on trade, so whatever duties or quotas he imposes will stick, whatever individual senators or congressmen might say," Gary Hufbauer, a Washington-based senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said by email before the decision.

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You can always buy panels from that US industry that Obama had built up.

#1 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-23 08:07 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

But hey, what's more important, jobs in a $28 billion industry or Trump's campaign blustering on China?

We all know the answer to that.

#2 | Posted by Corky at 2018-01-23 02:09 PM | Reply

No, let's save the 20,00 or so jobs in coal.

#3 | Posted by bat4255 at 2018-01-23 02:10 PM | Reply

You can always buy panels from that US industry that Obama had built up.

#1 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

First time in US history that a Conservative has admitted:
(1) Obama created jobs in the solar industry.
(2) That solar industry jobs even matter.

Congrats to Sitz!

#4 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-01-23 02:22 PM | Reply | Funny: 4

You can always buy panels from that US industry that Obama had built up.

#1 | Posted by sitzkrieg

China is crushing America in Solar Energy.

This wouldn't be possible without state-run banks in China handing out money like candy. The loans aren't earned with profits from operations and really have nothing to do with profit right now, profit is nearly nonexistent, but they used the government leverage to increase China's manufacturing expansion and jobs capabilities over countries like America and drive our companies into bankruptcies. The U.S. government could give our industry similar support, Obama tried to establish a foothold but because of partisan fighting it didn't and it won't the way we are going. Because we are too busy fighting each other and Republicans insisting on profits now instead of thinking long term and cornering the market we are losing the market.

China is investing 100 times more than we are. Why? Because, for example, while President Trump promises to put American coal miners back to work, China is moving in the exact opposite direction.

MAGA!

#5 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-23 02:22 PM | Reply

Now this is solar equipment so we are going to lose some jobs because putting the products together here and keeping them running is a huge industry.

Good job Donald in costing the country jobs.

#6 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-01-23 02:24 PM | Reply

And another thing. If Trump can roll back environmental regulations for coal why couldn't he do the same thing for solar? Not that I really want him to of course just like I don't approve of rolling back regulations on the coal industry. But, there three times as many solar energy jobs as coal jobs and more could be made if our government supported the industry like China does.

There were 260,077 solar workers in the United States in 2016. www.thesolarfoundation.org

The number of people working at coal mines was 65,971 in 2016. www.eia.gov

The actual ratio between the two numbers would be almost four-to-one.

www.politifact.com

The facts clearly highlight Trumplicans ignorance and partisan lies.

#7 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-23 02:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"...You're going to be so sick and tired of winning, you're going to come to me and go 'Please, please, we can't win anymore.' " -- dotard, 2016

#8 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-01-23 02:35 PM | Reply

I hope foreign corporations start building them in America.

#9 | Posted by Tor at 2018-01-23 02:53 PM | Reply

Didn't see this much crying when the Obama administration put tariffs on China solar panels. China found a loop hole and just has them assembled outside of China. If the Gov. is giving incentives to go solar have the money go to American Mfg. not China.

#10 | Posted by patron at 2018-01-23 02:57 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

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First time in US history that a Conservative has admitted:
(1) Obama created jobs in the solar industry.
(2) That solar industry jobs even matter.
Congrats to Sitz!

#4 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2018-01-23 02:22 PM | FLAG:

So you would agree that Trump is doing the right thing here promoting buying American made products which will create more jobs.

#11 | Posted by fishpaw at 2018-01-23 03:04 PM | Reply

#7 If we are providing incentives for people to buy the panels here instead of China won't it create more jobs here to produce the panels?

#12 | Posted by fishpaw at 2018-01-23 03:08 PM | Reply

#4 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2018-01-23 02:22 PM | FLAG:

I'm going to have to invent a sarcasm font just for you. You are completely incapable of detecting it.

#13 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-23 03:10 PM | Reply

Now this is solar equipment so we are going to lose some jobs because putting the products together here and keeping them running is a huge industry.
Good job Donald in costing the country jobs.

#6 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2018-01-23 02:24 PM | FLAG:

Come again? What does this mean?

#14 | Posted by fishpaw at 2018-01-23 03:12 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

#7 If we are providing incentives for people to buy the panels here instead of China won't it create more jobs here to produce the panels?

#12 | Posted by fishpaw

While China is dumping $300 billion into developing cheap solar energy we do nothing but put tariffs on their products instead of investing in developing our own cheap panels and infrastructure.

So the answer is no. It is providing no incentive. Trump is not interested creating jobs in the solar industry. He can't use it as a slam on Democrats or Obama.

#15 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-23 03:14 PM | Reply

"#7 If we are providing incentives for people to buy the panels here"

Sort of. At least one Chinese manufacturer already produces here. This is a good tariff for them.

#16 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-23 03:16 PM | Reply

China is crushing America in Solar Energy.

#5 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY AT 2018-01-23 02:22 PM | FLAG:

I remember the election. It was Global Trade Hillary (which I'm for), Monopoly Man Bernie, and Tariff Trump all seeking to replace Solyndra Obama. Tariffs are a stupid idea. Bernie's acknowledged how dangerous tariffs would be and was pushing a tech monopoly of US bifacial panels which failed. Those panels are built China, SK, etc. Solar installs are going to take a beating now. At least he hasn't put a tariff on wind turbines yet.

#17 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-23 03:16 PM | Reply

If the Gov. is giving incentives to go solar have the money go to American Mfg. not China.

#10 | Posted by patron

Killing up to 23,000 American solar jobs with a 30% tariff is not an incentive to go solar.

#18 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-23 03:17 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Well guess what, China's investment of $300 billion is going to take a hit and they are going to be sitting on a crap load of cheap solar panels. Mean while we will build them here. What is wrong with that?

#19 | Posted by fishpaw at 2018-01-23 03:19 PM | Reply

If we did not deal away our uranium to the ruskies we could also have a clean nuke program too. To bad it really was not her turn.

And Seth Rich would head up that program.

#20 | Posted by mutant at 2018-01-23 03:23 PM | Reply

"What is wrong with that?"

It's not gonna happen is what's wrong with it.

Raising the price of solar panels does what to demand for solar panels?

#21 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-23 03:23 PM | Reply

21 - I'll bite. Makes American made solar panels more competitive in the market, thus building up our solar panel industry.

#22 | Posted by homerj at 2018-01-24 11:23 AM | Reply

China has been dumping solar panels for years. It's hard to compete in a state subsidized market. Finally someone cares more about protecting American workers and less about cheap goods.

#23 | Posted by visitor_ at 2018-01-24 11:26 AM | Reply

"Finally someone cares more about protecting American workers and less about cheap goods."

Never mind that Obama put in place tariffs nearly identical to Trump's. When he did it Republicans were screaming about the potential trade war.

#24 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-24 11:33 AM | Reply

Economists generally support free trade on principle. Sometimes tariffs are warranted to protect local industry from unfair competition. Unfair being determined sometimes in the eye of the beholder. There's always a chance of a trade war.

Is this only wrong because it's Trump?

#25 | Posted by visitor_ at 2018-01-24 12:00 PM | Reply

Finally someone cares more about protecting American workers and less about cheap goods.

#23 | POSTED BY VISITOR_ AT 2018-01-24 11:26 AM | FLAG:

How are you protecting American workers by drastically reducing the number of solar installs?

#26 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-24 12:05 PM | Reply

Is there more value in assembly and installation or manufacturing?

#27 | Posted by visitor_ at 2018-01-24 12:13 PM | Reply

"Is this only wrong because it's Trump?"

I haven't yet decided if it is right or not but his actions presently set the tariffs for a fairly short amount of time and decrease each year. I don't think that an investor would want to invest in a solar panel manufacturing company with only short term protections for that industry. In this case I think the price of solar panels will rise but I'm not so sure American manufacturers will actually increase production significantly due to the higher costs for end users I suspect it will just diminish demand for solar panel installations.

#28 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-24 12:16 PM | Reply

"There's always a chance of a trade war."

The liklihood of one is directly related to tariffs enacted to protect domestic manufacturing. America has been very forgiving with the Chinese but we can't remain so willing to allow them to take manufacturing industries away from the U.S. I think I would enact VAT instead of tariffs, that's what most other nations have done.

#29 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-24 12:19 PM | Reply

Al Gore has come to Trump's defense on this one. Hell just froze over.

#30 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-24 01:11 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

How many Seals of the Apocalypse are left?

#31 | Posted by visitor_ at 2018-01-24 01:16 PM | Reply

Obama did the same thing, the Chinese just out smarted him and shipped their panels to other countries to be shipped here to avoid the tariffs. So you haters can relax now knowing Obama did the same thing.

#32 | Posted by fishpaw at 2018-01-25 11:49 AM | Reply

Obama did the same thing.

#32 | POSTED BY FISHPAW

Ok. If it didn't help last time why are we doing it again?

#33 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-25 12:11 PM | Reply

#33 Because it is on Chinese solar panels not solar panels from China.

#34 | Posted by fishpaw at 2018-01-25 12:21 PM | Reply

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