Commentary

Weekend editorials agree on Trump’s latest energy policy treachery

The Trump administration’s recent decision to slap tariffs on imported solar panels drew condemnation from a raft of editorials over the weekend.

Here’s the Winston-Salem Journal:

“President Trump’s tariffs on solar panels from foreign countries is likely to hurt American workers and consumers, including many in North Carolina. He should reverse his decision.

The Trump administration announced last week that it would impose steep tariffs on imported solar panels, starting at 30 percent next year and ultimately falling to 15 percent by the fourth year, The New York Times reported. But while the panels may be imported, most of the rest of the mechanics and infrastructure used in solar energy production is made in the U.S. Tariffs would likely raise the cost of solar power and slow what has been rapid development in the solar energy industry. It also would result in the loss of roughly 23,000 jobs in the solar industry this year, as well as the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars of investments, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Many of those jobs would be lost in North Carolina, where solar farms now generate income where textile factories and tobacco farms once did”

The Wilmington Star News put it this way:

“It’s a shame that the president seems intent on bringing back the past, at least when it comes to energy production. Other, more advanced countries, such as China and the European Union members, are expanding solar and wind-power production. It would be nice if the USA caught up.”

This is from the Greensboro News & Record:

“A forward-looking energy policy would encourage greater development of renewable energy, not hinder it with higher costs….

Protectionism is not a policy that will improve this country’s economy, and certainly not North Carolina’s solar energy industry.”

The Fayetteville Observer:

“…when we look at the likely effects of the tariff’s just imposed on imported solar panels, we have little doubt that the new levy is meant to slow the progress of the solar industry, not to protect American jobs.

The mathematics are pretty clear: The solar panel tariffs announced last week will cost us more than 10 times as many jobs as they’ll save. There are more than 260,000 jobs in the American solar industry, but fewer than 2,000 of them are in the manufacturing sector. Those are the jobs that the president says the tariff will protect and the part of the industry that he says the tariff will cause to grow.”

The Greenville Daily Reflector (quoting the Wall Street Journal):

“Can Donald Trump stand prosperity? Fresh from a government shutdown victory and with the U.S. economy on a roll, the president decided on Tuesday to kick off his long-promised war on imports — and American consumers. This isn’t likely to go the way Mr. Trump imagines.”

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