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U.S. solar energy industry urges Trump not to impose tariffs on imports

(Xinhua)    14:24, January 18, 2018

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump not to impose high tariffs on solar imports so as to preserve tens of thousands of jobs in the sector.

"A decision to impose high tariffs in line with the International Trade Commission's recommendation will lead to the layoff of tens of thousands of workers, cause companies to stop investing in the United States and bring an American economic engine screeching to a halt," Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the SEIA, wrote in a letter to Trump.

"Raising solar prices, as these tariffs would do, would reduce demand for those downstream products and kill manufacturing jobs," he said.

Hopper's warning comes as Trump will make a final decision whether to restrict solar imports to protect the U.S. industry before Jan. 26.

After taking office, the Trump administration has repeatedly promised to revive coal-fired power plants and bolster the country's coal industry. But the move against sustainable development trend was widely criticised by environmental organizations across the world.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) last October recommended the president putting quota and tariff restrictions on imported crystalline-silicon solar products.

But trade experts and local media have warned that slapping high tariffs on imported solar products is likely to kill far more American jobs than it saves.

While the tariffs could protect hundreds of jobs in the two American solar manufacturers, the assembly and installation sector could risk losing as many as 88,000 workers, the USA Today editorial board warned in an op-ed on Tuesday, adding tariffs would also "stifle a rising sector generating the cleanest of energies."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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