Trump slaps tariffs on washing machines, solar products

Jan 26, 2018, 01:19
Trump slaps tariffs on washing machines, solar products

This new tax would be a 30 percent increase on costs for solar panels coming into the United States.

But for SolarWorld, one of the two solar manufacturers that filed the original complaint, the ruling is a case of be careful what you wish for.

"It created a real cloud of ambiguity because we didn't know if the tariffs were going to be retroactive, how they were going to be implemented, and the severity of them", Steve Kasselman, President and CEO of Kasselman Solar, said.

Germany is criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on imports of washing machines and solar panels. The below-quota rate goes down to 18 percent and 16 percent in the second and third years, respectively.

In a statement, the Office of the US Trade Representative said: "Following successful trade cases filed by the domestic industry, which levied 40 percent tariffs on Chinese solar imports, China moved production elsewhere and evaded USA relief, while maintaining capacity". The tariff also allows 2.5 gigawatts of unassembled solar cells to be imported tariff-free each year.

Whirlpool, which sought the washers "safeguard" action against rivals Samsung and LG after years of anti-dumping cases, saw its shares rise 1.8pc in after-hours trade.

"However, The Alliance for American Manufacturing applauded the decision, saying American workers and manufacturers ".cannot compete against surging unfair imports from countries like China, which are dumping product into the U-S in an attempt to put American companies out of business".

"Although we are now building the largest solar cell and module manufacturing plant in the USA, we still oppose the petition", Tesla told Axios.

"The President's action makes clear again that the Trump Administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this regard".

Washington will impose tariffs of up to 50 percent on large washing machines over a three-year period and up to 30 percent on solar panels over four years.

"The president is saying that we're punishing China, but what he's really doing is driving up costs for people in our community who would like to invest in solar".

Beyond harming job growth, the tariffs could also hinder efforts to make the U.S. power grid cleaner and more renewable, environmental advocacy groups say. "The plan is to pass the impacts of the tariff to the consumer directly". Most solar panels do now come from overseas. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in making the announcement. Most of the American jobs related to solar panels involve installation, not manufacturing.

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