Solar companies on edge over possible tariff

Published: Oct. 3, 2017 at 4:20 PM EDT
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A possible new tariff on solar panels entering the United States has companies in our region on edge.

Two U.S. solar manufactures petitioned the International Trade Commission to impose the tariff on cheaper foreign panels to protect them from overseas competition. The ITC recently ruled in their favor, agreeing an additional tax is warranted. However solar installers like GroSolar out of White River Junction, say the ruling could effectively double the cost of panels entering the country. They say that would have a detrimental effect on the industry, which employees about 300,000 people across the country.

"The industry believes that about a third of those jobs, about 90,000 jobs would be lost in 2018 and 2019. We are concerned that development, in general, get stymied in 2018 and that would roll over into 2019 and 2020 because you need this continuous pipeline and flow of projects," said GroSolar's Rod Viens.

The International Trade Commission has until mid-November to make its final recommendations to the President. He then will then have 60 days to make a decision.