Colorado’s solar industry: Trump’s protectionism isn’t protecting us
Author: Dan Njegomir - January 23, 2018 - Updated: January 23, 2018
Among the president’s promises a lot of the business community and even plenty of Republicans were hoping he wouldn’t keep was his threatened crackdown on trade. But he has followed through in fits and starts, rattling his saber over aluminum imports here, appointing a free-trade skeptic as his U.S. trade rep there.
Along the way, he has drawn muted protests from those more often in his cheering section than not, like the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry, the Colorado Farm Bureau and Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.
And now, a not-so-muted rebuke from Colorado’s burgeoning solar industry following the Trump administration’s announcement it will slap tariffs on imported solar panels. No thanks, says an industry trade group; such protectionist policies against imports are in fact more hindrance than help, the group maintains. From a press release issued Monday by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association:
We are disappointed that the Trump administration is siding with a couple of foreign-controlled solar companies over the broader interests of the robust U.S. solar industry. This unfortunate approach threatens potentially half a billion dollars worth of Colorado solar projects. We believe we can compete in an international marketplace and the success of solar in recent years demonstrates this.
They seem to see it as ironic backfire by an administration whose expressed intent is to bolster American enterprises and their employees and level the playing field. Nevertheless, the association says it’s not about to let the setback derail the industry from its promising trajectory:
… Now that we have the decision, the uncertainty of recent months will give way to creative solutions to keep solar moving forward.We are excited about the opportunities ahead of us, and with our national partners at the Solar Energy Industries Association, we will move forward and continue to advocate against tariffs.
In other words, thanks all the same, but you’re not helping.