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US Slaps 'America First' Duties On Foreign Solar Goods, Washers

Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

24 January 2018


US President Donald Trump has approved safeguard tariffs on imported large residential washing machines and imported solar cells and modules.

New tariffs were recommended by the US Trade Representative (USTR) in response to findings by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) that increased imports of foreign washers and solar cells and modules causing serious injury to the US industries.

For imports of large residential washers, the US will impose variable tariffs for three years, starting at 20 percent for the first 1.2 million imports in the first year, and 50 percent on machines above that quota. The tariffs will be reduced to 18 percent and 45 percent in the second year, and to 16 percent and 40 percent in the third.

For solar cells and modules, the President has approved a 30 percent tariff in the first year, reducing to 25 percent in the second year, 20 percent in the third year, and 15 percent in the fourth year.

The solar tariff is lower than requested by the original petitioners in the case, Suniva and SolarWorld. However, the companies welcomed the decision, announced by USTR on January 22.

"Over the last five years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed; today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight," said Suniva. "This is a step forward for this high-tech solar manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America."

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in US however expressed disappointment in the decision, stating it will cost 23,000 jobs and the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments.

"While tariffs in this case will not create adequate cell or module manufacturing to meet US demand, or keep foreign-owned Suniva and SolarWorld afloat, they will create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving, which will ultimately cost tens of thousands of hard-working, blue-collar Americans their jobs," said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA's President and CEO.

TAGS: Energy | tax | investment | law | tariffs | China | manufacturing | Korea, South | United States | import duty | trade association | trade

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