Solar panel tariff affecting Missouri jobs and homeowners - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Solar panel tariff affecting Missouri jobs and homeowners

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SPRINGFIELD, MO (01/24/18) - President Trump has made trade reform a top priority in the oval office. Passing a four year tariff on solar panels, Sun Solar in Springfield explains how this will affect the solar panel industry.

Ranked the number one fastest growing business in Springfield, Sun Solar’s CEO Caleb Arthur says the 30 percent tax increase will not only affect companies but homeowners too.

“Thirty percent increase of panel costs isn’t a 30 percent increase of total costs to the homeowner," says Arthur. "So homeowners will see a 5 percent increase from smaller contractors who can’t buy panels in bulk.”

Aruthur says the tariff will cause an 11 percent drop of people who will go solar. SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association, says there could be up to 80,000 solar jobs lost in the United States. And learning about the possible rise in panel imports Arthur made arranegments for business early on.

The four year tariff on solar panel imports  has forced Sun Solar to pre-buy all their goods. Now, making them want to buy products made here in the USA.

Although, the tariff does impact imports from all countries outside of the United States, over the last two years, Sun Solar reached out to buy Made in America products but U.S. companies couldn’t keep up to provide enough panels to solar installers. Making the tariff difficult for those to continue to buy from other countries.

“I, personally, reached out to Congressman Billy Long and his opinion was, that I got back from him, is that he did not support the tariff from being implemented," says Arthur.

He admits this is a loss for the state of Missouri because the states economy for job creation is less than one percent and the solar panel industry, last year, grew jobs by 28 percent.

Although, he says he’s disappointed he believes the solar panel industry can rise above it, "The good thing is the solar panel industry has been dealt blow after blow over the past couple of years and we just keep growing, we keep innovating, and we keep coming out with better technology.”

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