"Low-cost solar cells produced in China have helped power the recent surge in the U.S. solar industry. But a case now before the federal International Trade Commission could lead to tariffs that would jeopardize U.S. solar’s rapid growth."
"Cheap Chinese solar cells have powered a boom in the U.S. solar industry. They have helped drive down the cost of making electricity from sunlight by about 70 percent since 2010, leading to double-digit growth rates in rooftop and utility-scale installations, according to the industry. Last year, for the first time, solar added more generating capacity to the electricity grid than any other fuel, including natural gas. That’s welcome news to those who worry about climate change.
Now, though, the solar boom may be in jeopardy. The U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, has begun an investigation that could lead to sweeping trade protections against the imports that would raise the costs of solar power and could bring a halt to solar’s rapid U.S. growth.
If the trade commission finds that imports caused serious harm to U.S. solar manufacturers, it will recommend trade remedies, which could potentially include tariffs on all imported solar products. President Donald Trump, a champion of U.S. manufacturing, would get the final word on any action — a prospect that has the solar industry in a tizzy. "