The big question surrounding First Solar's expansion

A man walks through a field with solar panels
Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

A big question swirling around the news that First Solar is expanding its U.S. manufacturing is how much — if anything — the recent White House import tariffs on solar panel equipment influenced the move.

What they're saying: CEO Mark Widmar said on the company's first quarter earnings call that the move will "further solidify our position as the largest U.S. solar module manufacturer," adding that production will be fully ramped up by the end of 2020 and it will create 500 jobs.