Brattle consultants recently prepared an economic analysis on behalf of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) studying the employment impacts of proposed trade restrictions on Chinese-manufactured crystalline photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules.
This topic is particularly timely, as the U.S. Department of Commerce is reviewing a petition that would lead to substantial tariffs on these imports. In response to alleged government subsidies and below cost pricing, petitioners have requested tariffs up to 250% on Chinese-manufactured products. The report examined the impacts that imposing a 50% or 100% tariff would have on the U.S. solar industry through 2014 and found that tariffs will slow the growth in domestic demand for PV systems resulting in substantial job losses. Specifically, a 100% tariff would result in as many as 50,000 net lost jobs in the U.S. over the next three years. Additionally, retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. exports of polysilicon to China could put nearly 11,000 more American jobs at risk in the first year following tariff imposition. The report, “The Employment Impacts of Proposed Tariffs on Chinese Manufactured Photovoltaic Cells and Modules,” was co-authored by Brattle economists Mark Berkman, Lisa Cameron, and Judy Chang and was commissioned by CASE, a consortium of American-owned and/or American-based companies who are all direct participants in the U.S. solar industry. To download a copy of the report, please visit the CASE website.