Solar tariffs set to devastate US economy, cost 62,000 jobs


More than 62,000 jobs, $19 billion in investment and 10.5GW of solar will be lost due to tariffs, according to a new study released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Tariffs on imported solar cells and modules have led to the loss of more than 62,000 US jobs and $19 billion in new private sector investment, according to SEIA.

Key study findings include:

  • Solar tariffs are costing the US more than $10.5 million per day in unrealiSed economic activity
  • Each new job created by the tariff results in 31 additional jobs lost, 5.3MW of solar deployment lost and nearly $9.5 million of lost investment
  • Reduced solar deployment figures will increase emissions equivalent to 5.5 million cars or 7 coal plants

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solar deployment lost from tariffs

In addition to its economic impact, tariffs on solar have caused 10.5GW of solar installations to be cancelled, enough to power 1.8 million homes and reduce 26 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

solar jobs lost from tariffs

The analysis comes as the midterm review process for the tariffs begins at the US International Trade Commission and covers tariff impacts from the beginning of the 2017 trade complaint by Suniva through the end of the tariff lifecycle in 2021.

“Solar was the first industry to be hit with this administration’s tariff policy, and now we’re feeling the impacts that we warned against two years ago,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “This stark data should be the predicate for removing harmful tariffs and allowing solar to fairly compete and continue creating jobs for Americans.”

Tariffs on solar are most harshly affecting nascent solar markets including Alabama, Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas. These markets won’t be able to get off the ground because tariffs make solar uncompetitive.

The Section 201 solar tariffs began at 30% in 2018, and ramped down to 25% in 2019, 20% in 2020 and 15% in 2021.

Read the entire market impact analysis at