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Trump's Solar Imports Decision Endangers Climate, American Jobs

WASHINGTON -

President Trump moved today to impose tariffs on solar panel imports to help two solar manufacturers that claimed imports are making their products uncompetitive.

The decision follows recommendations to levy tariffs on solar technology imported from China made by the International Trade Commission in late November 2017. The recommendations faced overwhelming opposition from the rest of the solar industry. Trump’s 30 percent tariff will drastically hamper American solar markets.

“This reckless decision will threaten tens of thousands of American jobs and hurt our climate,” said Howard Crystal, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “If Trump really wants to put America first, he should reduce our reliance on polluting energy sources that fuel climate change. Instead, this profoundly political move will make solar power more expensive for everyday Americans while propping up two failing, foreign-owned companies.”

The Center submitted formal comments in the case explaining that tariffs pose tremendous risk not only to the growth of the domestic solar industry, which employs more than twice as many Americans as the coal industry, but also to the vital transition to a clean and just energy economy. This shift is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“The climate crisis is here, ripping apart communities and threatening wildlife with devastating storms, wildfires and floods,” said Crystal. “With Americans in Puerto Rico and Houston still struggling to recover from climate disasters, Trump should be supporting renewable energy rather than making it more costly.”

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. 

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