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Citing tariffs, SunPower to cut 3% of global workforce

SunPower Corp. disclosed plans Feb. 22 to cut approximately 3% of its global workforce, citing the impact of tariffs recently approved by President Donald Trump.

The company initiated a process Feb. 21 to reduce its workforce by between 150 and 250 nonmanufacturing employees. The changes to SunPower's workforce will vary by country and with consideration of local legal requirements, consultations with employee works councils and other employee representatives. A portion of the layoffs will be carried out through a voluntary departure program.

SunPower expects to complete the process by mid-2019, with costs estimated at $20 million to $30 million, according to a Feb. 22 filing. The cost includes between $11 million and $16 million in severance benefits and between $9 million and $14 million in real estate lease termination and other associated costs.

The workforce reductions are part of a broader effort "to reduce operating expenses and cost of goods sold overhead and focus on improving profitability in light of the known shorter-term impact of tariffs imposed on photovoltaic cells and modules," SunPower said.