It's a political no-brainer for Trump, who gets to clobber the renewables market, rattle his saber at China, extend the viable economic life of climate-destroying hydrocarbon fuels (like coal) and rile up the libs.
But Trump's tariff on the panels merely builds on the Obama administration, which had imposed two narrower rounds of tariffs on solar imports.
The tariffs will decline at 5% per year, to 15% in the fourth year (assuming Trump is still in office and paying attention four years from now).
Why it matters: Most of the American solar industry has opposed tariffs on panels, saying they would raise prices and hurt the sector. A small group of solar panel manufacturers argued — successfully — that an influx of cheap imports, largely from China or Chinese-owned companies, was hurting domestic manufacturing. It's also part of President Trump's broader trade agenda against China.
Trump issues tariffs on imported solar panels [Amy Harder/Axios]
(Image: Trump's Hair)