Trump’s ties to the fossil fuel industry are no secret. His Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, the international oil conglomerate. With cronyism no longer even attempting to hide behind the veneer of helping the common citizen, Trump has upped the rhetoric against China, and many worry about a trade war kicking off.
This time over solar energy.
China began investing in solar energy in the early 2000’s with the goal of going entirely green as soon as possible. The Chinese government saw an enormous global need and wide open market at the beginning of the century and decided to do something about it. The United States has been playing catch-up ever since.
American manufacturers of solar energy have had a rough time staying afloat, whereas the Chinese have a booming industry that continues to expand. Part of the reason for the Chinese success has been government intervention and support of the industry, even for companies who cannot make a profit. China’s decision to subsidize solar technology development led to a 90% drop in the cost of the hardware globally.
The harsh tone set by the Trump Administration indicates that they are about to begin a trade war in January with the Chinese, and any other international manufacturer, over solar energy. Trade tariffs have been rumored by the White House for any incoming solar panels manufactured outside the United States.
The devastating effects of this will not affect the Chinese so much as it will hurt the American solar industry and maybe that’s the goal after all. The current White House has expanded its use of coal, worked hard to perpetuate the lie that climate change is not real nor man-made, and is doing everything in its power to allow those companies to retain a monopoly on the energy industry.
More proof that these businessmen don’t care about the free market; just maintaining the monopolistic control of the industries they already have.