Trump’s New Steel Tariffs Could Harm Solar Industry
President Trump said on Thursday that the US government will impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminium next week, despite strong pushback from some of his top advisers.
Trump said the US will impose a 25 per cent tariff on foreign-made steel and a 10 per cent tariff on foreign-made aluminium.
Solar projects, wind turbines and energy storage units are likely to get more expensive as a result of Trump’s latest protectionist move.
“Steel and aluminum tariffs would be immediately impactful to the US solar market,” said Scott Moskowitz, solar analyst at GTM Research.
The Trump administration’s 30 per cent tariff on imported solar cells and modules took effect last month, and is expected to cause up to 23,000 jobs to be eliminated in the solar sector this year, according to SEIA.
US solar installations are expected to slump this year as a result of the solar tariffs. Additional price increases on steel and aluminium, which are used in ground-mount and rooftop solar racking systems, could further dampen deployments.
“”Ground-mount systems use racks and trackers built mostly of steel. Aluminium is also common in residential and commercial rooftop racking. Most mounting structures vendors source steel and aluminium from numerous locations, both in and outside of the United States,” Moskowitz said.
“Tariffs would likely make the cost of importing these materials prohibitive, while increasing the price of US-made steel, which has already risen due to the threat of tariffs,” the expert warned.