Sunny but false

Donald Trump’s claims about solar panel makers have been challenged by fact-checkers. On Jan. 22, as part of his war on renewable energy and his effort to revive coal, Trump imposed duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a setback to Nevada’s growing solar commerce. U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen subsequently introduced legislation to repeal the tariffs and, she said, protect Nevada jobs.

Trump claimed at the time that the tariffs would create more jobs in the U.S. in existing companies and that more U.S. plants would result. Not long afterward, he claimed “We’re opening up at least five plants.” Still later, he upped the ante to “seven or eight” plants.

But FactCheck at the Annenberg Public Policy Center reported on April 20 that “solar energy experts told us they knew of just one new announced facility since the tariffs were implemented. We asked the White House press office for a list of the ‘seven or eight’ plants, but we have not received a response. … JinkoSolar, a Chinese company, announced on Jan. 29 that it would finalize plans for a manufacturing facility in the U.S. It will be in Jacksonville, Florida, and create 200 jobs, the company said in late March. That’s the only new post-tariff facility that the Solar Energy Industries Association was aware of as well.”