Washington (January 22, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and Chair of the Senate Climate Task Force, released the following statement today after President Donald Trump imposed new tariffs on imports of solar panels and cells. In October 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) recommended several measures in a trade case that could harm the domestic solar industry, including enacting steep new tariffs or instituting quotas. In August 2017, Senator Markey joined Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and a bipartisan group of Senators urging the ITC to not impose protectionist measures that would negatively affect the American solar industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that 23,000 solar workers nationwide will lose jobs because of President Trump’s tariff.
“Imposing a tax on solar panels is a direct attack on hundreds of thousands of American blue-collar workers,” said Senator Markey. “President Trump’s decision isn’t about domestic manufacturing, it’s about manufacturing an excuse to attack clean energy on behalf of Big Oil. Solar energy continues to be a bright spot in our economy, eclipsing jobs and growth in coal. The solar industry was poised to create 100,000 U.S. jobs over the next three years. We created as many solar jobs in the United States in 2016 as exist in the entire coal mining industry today. Massachusetts has led the way in driving the solar revolution and in creating good-paying jobs in installation, supporting more than 7,000 jobs. I will fight the Trump administration’s decision so that the solar industry can to continue to thrive in the United States and support the clean energy workers powering our country.”