On Monday, President Donald Trump revealed his national security strategy, where he called out powerhouse trade partner China as a threat to U.S. economic dominance. According to Politico, an unreleased White House document suggests that the Trump administration may look to put tariffs on Chinese-made solar power equipment.
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SunPower CEO Tom Werner on Tuesday argues that if the Trump administration puts a tariff on Chinese solar panels, it will have a negative impact on both the manufacturing and energy sectors.
“There are 1,000 jobs, 2,000 at peak, in the manufacturing sector that [should] be protected. There are 260,000 outside of that in the value chain. So if you increase the cost of a solar panel, then you’ll decrease demand and you’ll have less employment, 260,000 to 2,000 or 130 to 1. So you need to look at the impact across the entire value chain,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”
Werner said if the Trump administration were to put tariffs on Chinese solar panels, then China would put a tariff on American-made solar panels.
The Trump administration is also looking to prevent intellectual property theft by foreigners, including the Chinese.
Werner explained how his company is able to sell panels to China without worrying about the Chinese committing intellectual property theft.
“[It’s] super hard to make what SunPower makes, and so it has not been replicated and the difficulty of how we make it, we keep very closely held in our own factory and of course the [intellectual property] is right here in California,” he said.