Donald Trump has found an unlikely ally in former Vice President Al Gore—at least on one issue.
Following the president’s approval of tariffs on imported washing machines and solar cells earlier this week, Gore defended Trump during a panel at Davos.
Gore explained that while he doesn’t “typically defend him,” this issue “really did not start with him.”
“This was a trade action brought by private companies,” Gore continued. “They chose a kind of midpoint in the range of alternatives….It could have been handled differently, should have been handled differently, but it’s not an utter catastrophe.”
The bill in question stipulates a 30% tariff on imported solar panels, and serves as part of Trump’s wider “America First” strategy on trade, as it seeks to protect domestic manufacturers from foreign competition. However, according to Reuters, many from the solar industry have argued that the bill will have the opposite effect of resulting in thousands of layoffs and potentially hiking up consumer prices of solar panels.
Nevertheless, Gore expressed agreement with the prospect of imposing higher taxes on Chinese-made solar panels, arguing that they were hurting the market. “The large subsidies from China for exporting solar panels have put some other companies in the world out of business,” Gore explained.