Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is raising red flags ahead of Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency launch.Marketsread more
Some White House officials expect the Cabinet secretary, who has known the president for years, to depart as soon as this summer.Politicsread more
David Marcus, the head of Facebook's digital currency project, said the company expects Libra will drive more advertising revenue for the company.Technologyread more
Epstein is accused of sexually exploiting dozens of underage girls from 2002 through 2005 at his New York and Florida residences. He is a former friend of Presidents Donald...Politicsread more
When you think of Prime Day, you might be thinking about deals on Instant Pots and Amazon Echo devices — not half-off dresses and designer heels. But the market for apparel...Retailread more
Amazon workers in Minnesota and Germany are striking as Prime Day kicks off, in a stand against working conditions and wage practices. The action in Minnesota represents the...Retailread more
The Food and Drug Administration "stands ready" to start reviewing e-cigarettes amid a teen vaping "epidemic," acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless said Monday in a statement.Health and Scienceread more
The Guggenheim CIO says he had been approached by the White House about possibly joining the Federal Reserve.The Fedread more
Joe Lonsdale says his fellow Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel was "courageous" for speaking out against Alphabet's Google.Technologyread more
Wall Street analysts say it is increasingly possible the Trump administration will try using a stronger weapon in the currency wars than just presidential tweets.Market Insiderread more
In his prepared testimony for Tuesday's Senate banking committee hearing, Facebook's David Marcus tells lawmakers that the Libra currency will be secure.Technologyread more
One U.S. company operating in the fast-growing solar industry announced it has to close a manufacturing plant, and it is blaming the federal government.
Hemlock Semiconductor, a subsidy of Dow Corning, announced last week it had to shutter a facility in Clarksville, Tennessee, in part because of market conditions arising from "global trade disputes." These conflicts are tied to an escalating series of import taxes between the U.S. and China, a spokesman for the company told CNBC.
The Hemlock announcement came just one day after the Department of Commerce said it would institute even stricter tariffs against Chinese-made solar products. That ruling came after German-owned SolarWorld—which claims to be America's largest solar panel manufacturer—petitioned for help to guard against what it said were unfair trade practices from China.
Both Hemlock and Solarworld have become unlikely victims in a battle between the world's two largest economies, and dueling policies that are spilling over into the alternative energy sector.
Some in the U.S. solar industry said the government's decision to implement the new tariffs is counter-productive to its own environmental, employment, and manufacturing goals. They argue the government's position makes it hard for solar companies to compete globally.
"This is not protectionism: We're getting disrupted, this is actually a net bad thing for U.S. jobs," said Jigar Shah, chairman and co-founder of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE). "Some people say anything we can do to poke China in the eye is fantastic, well that's short-sighted."
The Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
For its part, Hemlock found "the continued market adversity and complex political conditions have left no economically viable options for Hemlock Semiconductor to operate the site," its president, Denise Beachy, said in an announcement. Hemlock makes polycrystalline silicon used in the manufacturing of solar cells and modules.
Shah said the difficulties experienced by Hemlock are being felt throughout the industry. Solar manufacturing and installation relies on a global supply chain that requires some components to start in the U.S., get assembled in China, then come back across the Pacific for final touches.
"Many of [CASE's] members are going to have to lay people off," Shah said. "But the real layoffs are coming from people who aren't getting hired...Raising prices on solar modules mean that many of the projects we've already signed are going to become uncompetitive."
SolarWorld argues that Chinese manufacturers are heavily subsidized by Beijing, and therefore can out-price competitors around the globe. In 2012 the U.S. government decided in favor of imposing tariffs on Chinese firms because of complaints from Solarworld—and the most recent decision seeks to close a loophole to that first ruling.
That loophole, SolarWorld and the Commerce Department both said, is that Chinese firms would outsource one piece of the manufacturing process to Taiwan to avoid the tariffs when exporting to the United States.
"These remedies come just in time to enable the domestic industry to return to conditions of fair trade," Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld, said in an announcement following the Commerce Department decision. "The tariffs and scope set the stage for companies to create new jobs and build or expand factories on U.S. soil."
But CASE argued that the addition of a third country to the ongoing trade dispute will just confuse the supply chain, and hurt the growth of solar technology across the world. The state of play raises the possibility that a third country could find itself in the crosshairs of the standoff between China and the U.S.
"When SolarWorld went after China we thought it would be the end of it, but now they're going after one of the U.S.'s staunchest allies in Taiwan," Shah said. "We have no idea where the madness will stop—there's no rhyme or reason to how these trade cases are going down."
Shah said he hopes the White House will come to agree with CASE's outlook, and will act to "promote free trade around the world, particularly on climate change initiatives."
The new duties on Chinese and Taiwanese solar products will go into effect around Feb. 1.