Gore Defends Trump’s Solar Tariffs

By Zeke Myers, Opinion Writer

Today’s political climate has certainly divided the nation, forcing everyone to hold true to his or her political alignment. For example, even if trump were to pass a left leaning law, republicans would back it and all democrats would disagree with it. It seems as though nobody is willing to read into and understand the decisions that are being made. This only continues to grow the divide between republicans and democrats in a time in which we need unity and understanding in order to prosper as a nation.

On Thursday, Al Gore took a step forward and supported Donald Trump’s tariff increase on solar panels and materials. On Monday January 22nd, President Trump announced that there would be a 30% tariff on solar energy imports into the United States. This is incredibly high, although not as high as the possible 50% that can be imposed. Trump made this decision in order to bring more jobs to the U.S. by increasing manufacturing and production of solar panels and materials.  Unsurprisingly, many people (democrats) have felt that this will have the opposite effect, by decreasing the number of smaller companies that produce solar panels because they cannot compete with their competitors’ prices. This will in turn cause many people to lose their jobs, or so they say. The problem is that the people that are saying this do not see the bigger picture of what is going on globally.

Trump was not the first to impose this tax and he definitely did not impose the highest tariff. Last week India imposed a 70% tariff on solar panels and materials coming in from China. China is low-balling the market and is already causing many companies to lay off employees. This tariff will actually allow many smaller companies that make the materials for the panels to compete. Understandably, though smaller companies that sell the final product will be cutting their profits forcing many sales teams and producers to lay people off. The bigger companies that can now hire more people for both material gathering and final production will balance all this. Former Vice President Al Gore understands this stating: “This was a trade action brought by private companies. They chose a kind of midpoint in the range of alternatives. … It could have been handled differently, should have been handled differently, but it’s not an utter catastrophe”. Gore seems to accept Trumps midpoint decision and implies that Trump could have done much worse.

This is the first instance in a long time during Trumps presidency that a democratic leader has supported his decision. Although Gore does believe that the issue needed to be addressed, he still thinks Trump should have handled it differently. Gore seems to understand that this is not just a U.S. issue but a more global issue and other countries are trying to lessen Chinas power with us. We should not be divided on a matter like this because not only has China been costing the U.S. and the world jobs they are doing it unethically. Clearly, the world is beginning to understand the problem with China and their competitive prices so why can we as a nation not understand this too. Gore has taken the first step in uniting the nation by understanding why certain decisions are made. Now it is up to other political leaders and the rest of the nation to try to do the same, by understanding why decisions are made, rather than blindly following our political alignments.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 30th print edition.

Contact Zeke at


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