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Trump Trade Decision To Devastate US Solar Market


bludog
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This is just part of the Trump Administration's assault on the environment.  He is lifting drilling and mining restrictions in our national parks ...  Lifting regulations on polluters ....  And encouraging offshore drilling in every state except Florida, where Mar-a-Lago is located.  This last is more like the action of a high-handed, self-indulgent despot;  Not a president of the United States.
 
Now the rest of the world will be moving ahead while the US loses ground in the race to convert to renewable energy.  While China strives to clean up its pollution, and minimize CO2 emissions, we will be creating more here in the US. 
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He strokes the oil companies and nukes the solar panels...as if the oil companies are American companies??  As if this is somehow protectionism?  Even if you thought tariffs on them un-Amurkin solar panels was a good idea, as you mention, how do you then justify opening the proverbial wallet for international oil corporations?

 

The number one problem America faces is Americans.

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10 hours ago, Craig234 said:

I wonder if it's good to buy solar panels now, before tariffs.

 

I would expect solar panels and accessories included in the tariffs to increase in price by about 20% to 30%.  There will probably be shortages.  If demand remains high, the price could initially go up even more. 

 

In the coming years, high demand may stimulate the US solar industry to expand and produce enough for domestic consumption...  Increasing automation and efficiencies of volume may eventually bring the price down somewhat but it would take a long time...  Giving the fossil fuel industries more time to entrench themselves in our economy.

 

In the meantime, there is global race going on to switch to renewable.  Trump's tariffs will cause us to fall badly behind.  And we will have burned, probably billions of tons of fossil fuel that could have remained in the ground.  Great numbers of gasoline and diesel vehicles will continue to be built, for the US market.  And, of course,  homes, institutions and factories will be forced to rely on fossil fuels for their needs, instead of switching to solar. 

 

Trump is also putting a tariff on washing machines, which makes somewhat more sense, since the nation is well supplied and old ones can be repaired.  An unknown factor in all this is how the Chinese government will retaliate;  And whether they will be able to hurt us more than we can hurt them.   Trade wars, destructive to all parties concerned, can  start with a shot across the bow.  Trump's tariffs might be that shot.

 

 

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  • bludog changed the title to Trump Trade Decision To Devastate US Solar Market

Putting a tariff of 30 percent on solar equipment makes no sense at all,, unless you are surrounded with people from the petroleum industry. 

So much for a free market energy economy and less government.   This move is just the opposite. 

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2 hours ago, muleman said:

Putting a tariff of 30 percent on solar equipment makes no sense at all,, unless you are surrounded with people from the petroleum industry. 

So much for a free market energy economy and less government.   This move is just the opposite. 

 

Exactly.  The the owners and top execs in the fossil fuel industry are the only ones that stand to gain ...  But only financially.  They and their loved ones will breathe and consume the toxic emissions generated by their avarice.  And their children will be born into a world afflicted by the greenhouse effect.    Of all the things on which to place a tariff, solar equipment should be last on the list;  Not first, as Trump has done. 

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The US Government is propping up sunset fossil fuel industries to benefit their cronies. 

It is inevitable that they will be phased out and replaced.  If we are going to have a capitalist system let it happen. 

Tariffs are a way to manipulate the market. 

If you want to manipulate the market, increase the taxes on fossil fuels. 

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Let's take a step back on this. For full disclosure I am an Independent.

 

Facts: Trump is anti-climate change which does mean he wants to peel back regulations on the coal industry. Trump slapped a 30% tariff on foreign made solar panels.

 

Analysis: I think it is jumping to a conclusion to quickly to assume that his intent is to "hurt" solar in order to "help" coal. First, the tariff was recommended to him by the independent U.S. International Trade Commission based on grievances filed by U.S. Solar Manufacturing companies. China has succeeded in making cheap solar panels in large part by huge subsidies from their government ($47 billion) as China labelled solar as a "strategic industry". Using free trade rationale, a tariff is justified to even the playing field for U.S. solar manufacturers and the good jobs they would provide working Americans.

 

China's choice to subsidize solar gives its people jobs while slightly lowering their quality of life ($47 billion could have been spent by the people rather than the govt). Using environmental rationale, why not let China make cheap solar panels? It helps proliferate green energy and also fuels the US solar panel installation sector. On the other hand, the overseas manufacturing processes and transportation are much less green than in the US so the life-cycle carbon footprint of Chinese panels is worse than  US made panels.

 

At the end of the day, I think the evidence points more toward Trump using the tariff to protect US manufacturing then trying to squash solar or help coal. If he was really gunning for solar he would target US subsidies for solar installation. One of Trump's core values is to revive US manufacturing jobs. This seems in line with that motive. 

 

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-31/u-s-trade-panel-proposes-duties-of-up-to-35-in-solar-case-j9frwy6w?utm_campaign=JM-305&utm_medium=ED&utm_source=for 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-china-is-dominating-the-solar-industry/

 

I am happy to discuss.

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4 hours ago, Alexanderful said:

Let's take a step back on this. For full disclosure I am an Independent.

 

Thank you for stating this up front.  It is more than most non-Liberal's do.  Judging by your post, I would have thought you were one of the rare, intelligent Conservatives.

 

That said, this is the Liberal's Only Room.  As the name plainly states, it is not for anyone but Liberals.  If you want to make an argument giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, or defending him, please do so in the No Holds Barred sub-forum.   When Independents post in LO, they always end up making Conservative arguments and this room is not for Liberal - Conservative debate.  It is for the exchange of viewpoints between Liberals, including Progressives, Leftists, Greens, Democrats, etc.

 

I hope you will cooperate.  Thanks in advance.

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4 hours ago, Alexanderful said:

At the end of the day,

 

The day is long and time is short.  In order to limit the effects of liberating billions more tons of stored carbon into the air and water, we and the world must work as fast as possible to switch over to renewable energy, where possible.  During the time it will take for US solar equipment manufacturing to grow and expand, enormous amounts of fossil fuel will have been extracted and burned ...  Fossil fuel which could have remained in the ground.

 

If Trump was serious about stimulating US solar industries, he would have awarded them subsidies in excess of what the Chinese offer their own solar manufacturers.  That way, the Chinese would have to raise their own subsidies to compete ...  A race to the top.  And the opposite of slapping tariffs on Chinese solar equipment and being faced with inevitable retaliation ...  A race to the bottom.

 

If you want to rebut this or any other post in the LO Rm Alexanderful, please take it to No Holds Barred.

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Bludog - As you are a Senior Moderator I will respect this. There is a reason that I posted here and not No Holds Barred. Have you seen the discussions in there? They immediately degenerate into pathetic name calling and propagandized tribalism. Everybody posts and nobody listens. Everyone is forced to divide into two camps and we are told to be enemies. People can fall on a spectrum of ideas that don't fit neatly into the "whole package" platforms our politicians sell us. You need an Intelligents Only only forum!

 

For the record, I think Trump is a moron to think climate change is a hoax and was grossly irresponsible to pull out of Paris Agreement. This forum has much more civil discourse but is unfortunately an echo chamber. However, I shall move myself to No Holds Barred.

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2 minutes ago, Alexanderful said:

This forum has much more civil discourse but is unfortunately an echo chamber. However, I shall move myself to No Holds Barred.

 

Thank you for your cooperation Alexanderful.  I appreciated it. 

 

Unfortunately, if Conservative versus Liberal debate were to be allowed in Liberals Only, it would become an extension of NHB in no time flat.  There has been talk of a heavily moderated "Civil Debate" sub-forum, in which all could participate but the powers that be have never pursued it to fruition.  Liberal's Only is more than an echo chamber.  There is quite a bit of disagreement here but not of the Con V Lib variety which has grown so bitter and polarized.

 

10 minutes ago, Alexanderful said:

There is a reason that I posted here and not No Holds Barred. Have you seen the discussions in there?

 

Almost everyone who regularly posts in Liberal's Only, including me, also posts or has posted in No Holds Barred.  It requires the growth of some thick skin.

 

12 minutes ago, Alexanderful said:

They immediately degenerate into pathetic name calling and propagandized tribalism. Everybody posts and nobody listens. Everyone is forced to divide into two camps and we are told to be enemies. People can fall on a spectrum of ideas that don't fit neatly into the "whole package" platforms our politicians sell us. You need an Intelligents Only only forum!

 

One of the better descriptions of NHB.

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