Bipartisan legislation would counter the harmful impact of solar tariffs
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Elected leaders from across the country and political aisle are uniting with one voice, urging the repeal of the solar tariffs the Trump administration implemented earlier this year.

Why? Because they see the real negative impacts that the tariffs are having on jobs and the economy in their states. They see the curtailment in investment first hand.

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The solar tariffs, and the uncertainty in the lead up to their implementation, have already led to higher prices, cancelled hiring plans and shutdown businesses. Frankly, the tariffs aren’t working.

The bipartisan legislation now proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives, Protecting American Solar Jobs Act (H.R. 5571), would turn the tide on what already has been a harmful policy for American workers.

So far, 20 companies have told us that tariffs are harming their businesses. Recently, the solar developer Cypress Creek Renewables said it had postponed $1.5 billion in investment because of the tariffs. And sadly, reports this week are that Schletter Inc., an American solar racking manufacturer, has declared Ch. 11 bankruptcy, in part, because of the tariffs.

The Protecting American Solar Jobs Act would turn the ship around. It would repeal the tariffs on imported solar cells and modules. Under this legislation, tariffs would default back to previous rates and would allow companies that imported any affected solar products under this new tariff to receive retroactive reimbursement.

Upon the bill’s introduction, Rep. Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordGeorge Conway donates to Trump challenger Joe Walsh Amash says he's happy not feeling 'bound to a particular party' 2020 Presidential Candidates MORE (R-S.C.) said, “A tariff is a tax, and I don't know what good can possibly come as a consequence of stifling the growth of solar power.” Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (D-Nev.) pointed out, “An attack on solar energy is an attack on the countless hardworking Nevadans who benefit from this growing industry.”

It seems a long shot that the president will sign this legislation. Yet, we share Mr. Trump’s interest in jump-starting solar manufacturing. Republicans and Democrats alike have said these tariffs are not the right way to do it, and we urge members of Congress to continue to speak out on this issue.

While solar has proven time and again that it is a resilient industry, the market needs certainty and a stable regulatory environment to truly flourish. These tariffs are causing rampant negative impacts on our industry and the future of the electricity market here in the U.S.

The congressmen and women behind the Protecting American Solar Jobs Act have shown true leadership. They are sticking up for their constituents and the communities the solar industry helps support with well-paying jobs, investment dollars and clean energy.

Whether it’s passage of this bill, or some other avenue, it is time for the U.S. government to begin taking steps to mitigate the harm these tariffs are causing and move America forward as an American energy leader.

Abigail Ross Hopper is president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).