>> It's a very big industry and you're gonna have a lot of plants built in the United States.>> When president Donald Trump slapped a 30% tariff on imported solar panels, it was meant as a America first move to protect the US solar panel makers. But instead, it's cast a dark cloud over the US renewable energy industry.
Forcing companies to cancel or freeze, billions of dollars of installation projects that were dependant on those once cheap solar panels from overseas, especially from China. Reuters' correspondent Nichola Groom.>> One of the companies we spoke to, Cypress Creek Renewables, said it has frozen about $1.5 billion dollars worth of projects.
Mainly in the Carolinas, Colorado, and Texas, because the tariffs on solar imports have made them uneconomic. And those projects amount to about a fifth of this companies pipeline, and account for about 150 projects.>> On the flip side, US companies that manufacture solar panels are expanding, trying to take advantage of the new tariff, investing about a billion dollars to grow old factories or build new ones.
The tariff's diversioned impact an illustration of how protectionist trade measures can hurt one domestic industry, while shielding another from foreign competition. And when it comes to jobs, the solar tariff might be a loser for the US workers.>> The US solar industry employs about 250,000 people, and that's far more than say, the coal industry.
And in the solar industry, most of those jobs are in installation or development, with only about 20% being in manufacturing.>> Trump's tariff over time could significantly boost panel production in the US, and eventually reduce prices. But that might not come fast enough for billions of dollars worth of installation projects now hanging in the balance.