Expert Voices

America's missed TPP moment may harm energy opportunities

Ministers from Vietnam and Japan shaking hands
Vietnam's Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh and Japan's Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at a TPP press conference. Photo: Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty Images

Eleven countries in the Asia-Pacific will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement this Thursday, while the TPP’s original catalyst — the United States —watches from the sidelines. Of all the groups ruing what could have been, America's advanced energy sector must be left particularly disheartened.

Why it matters: The TPP was expected to reduce costs for imported renewables. Not only will these savings not be realized, but new steel and aluminum tariffs may add around 2 cents per watt to utility-scale solar projects, in addition to the increase of 10 cents per watt from the recent solar tariffs.