Just one week after the Trump administration announced a massive 30% tariff on imported solar panels, one of China's largest solar panel manufacturers announced plans to open a manufacturing plant in the United States.
The company, JinkoSolar, said on Monday that they have received the green light from their board of directors to "finalize planning for the construction of an advanced solar manufacturing facility in the U.S." CNN Money reports:
The statement suggested Jinko's decision was tied to the new tariffs, saying that the company "continues to closely monitor treatment of imports of solar cells and modules under the U.S. trade laws."
"This deal will further solidify our leadership in the U.S. market," said Nigel Cockroft, general manager of Jinko U.S. "An agreement of this magnitude exemplifies JinkoSolar’s commitment to provide our clients with the most reliable products and dependable, regional customer service."
Regarding the huge hike in import tariffs, Trump said last week:
When we do this, a lot of manufacturers will be coming to the United States to build washing machines and also solar. For both solar and washing machines, these executive actions uphold the principle of fair trade and demonstrate to the world that the United States will not be taken advantage of anymore. Our companies will not be taken advantage of anymore.
It appears as though JinkoSolar may not be the only company moving manufacturing operations to the United States to avoid paying the tariff. CNN adds:
There are other indications that foreign solar companies are bringing manufacturing to the U.S.
Documents filed with the local government in Jacksonville, Florida, this month state that a "leading international manufacturer of solar panels and modules" is seeking to invest more than $400 million in building a manufacturing plant in the city.
The facility, code-named "Project Volt," will create 800 jobs between now and the end of next year, according to the documents.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported, “U.S. manufacturing expanded in December at the fastest pace in three months, as gains in orders and production capped the strongest year for factories since 2004.”