Solar power system designer and manufacturer SunPower has announced that they will be laying off up to 250 employees, reportedly well-paying research and development and marketing positions to compensate for increased costs related to President Trump’s new 30% tariff on imported solar panels and components. This is before President Trump announced the imposition of new tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%).
According to SunPower CEO Tom Werner, “with the new tariffs, SunPower will lose $50 million this year, about one-sixth of the company's overall operating costs.” According to Werner, the company fears that next year's losses will be even more staggering, predicting the firm could lose closer to $100 million.”
"We'll have to cut costs, even more, we just don’t have the money. A cursory review of our balance sheet would see there is not sufficient money which would mean decreased American investment — we’d focus on foreign markets where we don’t have to pay a tariff.” “Werner said the shift to overseas would take jobs with it.”
If SunPower’s request for a tariff waiver is not granted, the result “will likely result in more job cuts and a shift toward more investment in foreign markets.” SunPower is mostly owned by France’s Total, one of the seven ‘super-major,” and the fourth publicly-listed energy company in the world. Total is also dealing with a prolonged downturn in the oil and gas industry.