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Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A majority of U.S. voters are concerned about forced labor in China's solar panel industry, a new survey of registered voters conducted by Morning Consult finds.

Why it matters: China produces about three-quarters of the world's solar panels, which many view as vital to reducing carbon emissions.

  • But some of China's top solar panel producers have been linked to coerced labor in Xinjiang, leading the U.S. first to ban importing polysilicon from Xinjiang used in the panels, and later all products made there.

Details: Survey respondents consistently expressed support for domestic U.S. production of solar panels and for avoiding solar panels made in China with inputs from forced labor, Morning Consult found.

  • 83% of respondents said it was very important or somewhat important that U.S. lawmakers ensure federal tax dollars aren't used to buy solar panels from China that are made with inputs from forced labor.
  • 80% of respondents strongly agreed or somewhat agreed the U.S. should rely on solar panels made domestically through methods that produce lower carbon emissions than factories in China, some of which are coal powered.
  • 79% said they were very concerned or somewhat concerned about forced labor in Chinese-made solar panels.

The bottom line: U.S. voters want an ethical transition to green energy.

Go deeper

Dec 6, 2021 - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

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