What to Expect with the New Solar Tariff

Recently, the Trump administration announced that it would impose steep tariffs on imported solar products and washing machines. The White House says this is the first step in providing support and protection for U.S. manufacturers. Future trade tariffs related to steel, aluminum, and other products from China could follow. The concern is that cheap solar modules manufactured overseas are putting American ventures at risk.

The solar industry appears split over the benefit of the tariffs and those who install large solar farms. Traditionally relying on the cheap imports, expressing that they will no longer be able to create a cost-effective solar solution. While originally cheap solar came from China, with trade restrictions against that country, manufacturers finding other sources of cheap labor. Currently, 95% of the solar panels used in solar farms in the U.S. come in from countries such as Malaysia.

The solar tariffs enacted will cover the next four years and will start at 30% but will fall to 15%. For importers each year, the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported cells become exempt from the tariff so that module manufacturers will still have access to cheap supplies of cells. These tariffs are expected to raise the rate of installing solar panels only up to the price they were about two years ago, a small percentage of the overall cost of manufacturing and installation.

Roller Die + Forming works with solar panel racking companies to create the mounts that hold and position solar panels. Our products go into solar farms and many other applications. We sincerely hope that the administration’s goal of boosting U.S. manufacturing holds true and the tariff benefits not just our company and customers, but the solar industry as a whole.