The Latest: Solar trade group anticipates job losses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines (all times local):

6:19 p.m.

The Solar Energy Industries Association, which represents solar installers, says the tariff on solar panels will lead to the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars of investment in solar energy and the loss of 23,000 industry jobs this year.

One of the group’s members, Bill Vietas, president of RBI Solar in Cincinnati, says the industry has been growing over the past five years. “Government tariffs will increase the cost of solar and depress demand, which will reduce the orders we’re getting and cost manufacturing workers their jobs,” he says.

Whirlpool issued a statement from Chairman Jeff Fettig saying that the decision on washing machines would create new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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5:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump is approving tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help U.S. manufacturers.

The administration cast Monday’s decisions as part of Trump’s pledge to put American companies and jobs first.

The administration is imposing an immediate tariff of 30 percent on most imported solar modules, with the rate declining before phasing out after four years.

For large residential washing machines, tariffs will start at up to 50 percent and phase out after three years.

The U.S. solar industry is split over the issue. Two small subsidiaries of foreign companies that made solar cells in the U.S. favor tariffs, but a larger number of companies that install solar-power systems say their costs will rise and jobs will be lost.

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