U.S. Solar Company SunPower Announces Layoffs Following President’s Tariffs

Mar 9, 2018

Following on President Trump’s decision earlier this year to implement higher tariffs on imported solar equipment, U.S. solar company SunPower announced it is being forced to lay off roughly three percent of its total workforce, about 150 to 250 workers.

The new tariffs - up to 30 percent – will be imposed on all imported solar panel materials. This was a particularly damaging blow to a U.S. solar installation industry that imports approximately 80 percent of its solar panel materials. In addition to job cuts, SunPower also announced it will be postponing plans to continue with its $20 million investment in factory expansion. Along with the new investment, the plan was expected to create hundreds of new jobs for American workers.

As reported in the January 26 edition of Capital Update, President Trump’s solar tariffs announcement was met with significant backlash from those in the domestic solar energy industry. Solar Energy Industries Association CEO Abigail Ross-Hopper predicted that the tariffs would harm the economy and cause many jobs to be cut. Companies affected by the tariffs can apply for an exemption, but uncertainty around the process has disrupted regulatory certainty within the industry.

To view President Trump’s official tariff announcement, click here: https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2018/january/president-trump-approves-relief-us

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