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Korean Solar Manufacturing Company Comes To Georgia, Amid New Tariffs

Plans by Hanwha Q Cells to open a manufacturing facility in Dalton, Georgia, come as the Trump administration imposed a 30 percent tariff on solar panel component imports earlier this year.
Plans by Hanwha Q Cells to open a manufacturing facility in Dalton, Georgia, come as the Trump administration imposed a 30 percent tariff on solar panel component imports earlier this year.
Credit Rogelio V. Solis / Associated Press file

A Korean solar company is set to open its first manufacturing facility in the United States in Dalton, Georgia.

Gov. Nathan Deal made the announcement Wednesday. His office said that Hanwha Q Cells will create more than 500 jobs in Whitfield County.

The company, which produces solar modules, currently has manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and China.

The move comes as the Trump administration imposed a 30 percent tariff on solar panel component imports earlier this year.

A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Economic Development said the company started considering the project early last year, before the tariffs.

While the talks have been ongoing for a while, tariffs were a part of the conversation, said Carl Campbell, vice president of economic development with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce.

“They have been working this project for longer than the tariffs have been in place, so I don’t think it’s what drove the decision, but it certainly was an important piece and sped the process up a little bit,” Campbell said.

The company said in a news release that the “new manufacturing fab is testament to Hanwha Q CELLS Korea’s commitment to the U.S. market, in spite of the recently imposed trade barriers.”