Local Chambers Express Disappointment in Tariffs on Solar Imports
Say It is a Missed Economic Opportunity for American Jobs, Communities
January 23, 2018
The National Advisory Council of Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, a network of more than 1,200 local chambers of commerce, issued the following statement today about President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs solar imports:
“As the leaders of one of the nation’s largest networks of local chambers of commerce, we are disappointed by President Trump’s decision yesterday to impose tariffs on solar imports—a move that might discourage competition from other countries but will ultimately do more harm to American workers.
“Local chambers of commerce are at the forefront of advocating for the economic growth of our communities. We are the on-the-ground experts on what does and does not work at the local and state level. And we know that renewable energy is an increasingly important opportunity for businesses and communities across the nation.
“We have seen solar, wind, and other clean energy projects deliver significant economic benefits that are good for our businesses, schools, communities, and the economy. This is true not only in urban centers but manufacturing communities and rural areas, where clean energy projects have delivered some of the best economic news in decades.
“The vast majority of the solar industry’s 260,000 jobs are in installation, and installers rely on lower-cost solar parts. A tariff is likely to only drive up the price of solar, hurt demand, and put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the decision effectively will cause the loss of roughly 23,000 American jobs this year, including many in manufacturing, and it will result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments.
“In North Carolina, which ranks second in the nation on solar energy, we have attracted more than $5 billion in solar investments, with $1.2 billion in 2016 alone. Low-cost imported solar parts have played a key role in this growth; and a tariff may now jeopardize future growth.
“In Michigan, more than 92,000 people work in the solar and wind industries—thanks to Republican Governor Snyder’s Clean and Renewable Energy Waste Reduction Act of 2016. The tariff now potentially puts continued growth at risk.
“We need to make America great by embracing innovation and supporting clean energy jobs in the Midwest and all across the nation. We look forward to working with our colleagues and American businesses to do just that.”
Aaron Nelson, President & CEO, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, NC, Co-Chair of CICE Advisory Council
Doug Luciani, President, TraverseCONNECT, Traverse City Area Chamber, MI, Co-Chair of CICE Advisory Council
Diane Doucette, Executive Director, Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy
Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is a national network of 1,200 local chambers of commerce that recognize the economic development opportunity of clean energy. CICE works with local chambers to offer programs that help them and their member companies successfully navigate and prosper in the clean energy space. www.chambersforinnovation.com