>> Solar companies in the United States buying up as many cheap imported panels while they still can as the Trump administration considers a tariff that would effectively double the price of solar panels coming from oversees in an effort to help U.S. factories. One of them, a Georgia manufacturer called Suniva, proposing the idea of a tariff in a recent trade complaint, essentially asking the president to keep his promise to make things in America.
But hitting foreign manufacturers with a tariff could interfere with another pledge made by the president to preserve American blue collar jobs. Reuters correspondent Nicola Groom in Los Angeles explains.>> If the price of solar panels were to double as Suniva has asked for, tat means that the price of going solar would be more expensive.
And it would really erase a lot of the cost declines that that industry has seen over the last few years. And so a lot of solar projects just wouldn't make financial sense anymore. And the US Solar Industry has warned that this could impact about 88,000 jobs.>> The solar industry employs more than five times as many workers as the coal mining industry that Trump has championed, and US consumers and businessed have been embracing solar energy.
Trump himself even suggesting that solar panels go on his proposed border wall with Mexico.>> We're talking about the southern border. Lots of sun, lots of heat. We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy.>> But the wider adoption of solar energy is largely thanks to China, which has helped drive down costs with its inexpensive panels.
>> China is the world's largest solar panel manufacturer, so if new tariffs were imposed on solar panels from oversees, China would be the most impacted out of every country in the world. So depending on how President Trump feels bout China, the Chinese would almost certainly retaliate with some sort of trade measure.
>> Solar panel installations in the US hit a record last year, but a spike in panel prices brought on by tariffs could slow installations in the future and all the jobs that come with them.