The iView has timed out. It is now displaying expired content from the cache. Click 'Reload' to retrieve updated content. You may need to wait for the cache to retrieve the content from the source.Reload
iView has timed out; there is no cached content to display. Click Reload to retrieve updated content. You may need to wait for the cache to retrieve the content from the source. Reload
Trump Applies Tariffs to Solar Panels 01/23 06:07
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump on Monday approved tariffs on
imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help
The Republican's decision followed recommendations for tariffs by the U.S.
International Trade Commission.
"The president's action makes clear again that the Trump administration will
always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this
regard," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement
announcing the decision.
Most imported solar modules will face an immediate tariff of 30 percent,
with the rate declining before phasing out after four years. For large
residential washing machines, tariffs will start at up to 50 percent and phase
out after three years.
China accused Trump of jeopardizing the multilateral trading system by
taking action on complaints under U.S. law instead of through the World Trade
"The U.S. side once again abused its trade remedy measures," said a Commerce
Ministry statement. "China expresses its strong dissatisfaction with this."
Mexico said Trump's decision not to exclude it from the measures was
"Mexico will use all available legal resources in response to the U.S.
decision to apply protections on Mexican washing machines and solar panels,"
its Economy Department said in a statement.
The U.S. solar industry was split over the trade barriers.
The tariffs were sought last year by Suniva Inc., which filed for bankruptcy
protection in April, and the U.S. subsidiary of Germany's SolarWorld.
They said that a nearly 500 percent increase in imported solar panels over
five years led to a ruinous price collapse. Nearly 30 U.S. solar-manufacturing
facilities had closed in the past five years, they said, as China plotted to
flood the global market with cheap products to weaken U.S. manufacturing.
Suniva spokesman Mark Paustenbach called tariffs "a step forward for this
high-tech solar-manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America."
However, solar installers and manufacturers of other equipment used to run
solar-power systems opposed tariffs, which they said will raise their prices
and hurt demand for the renewable energy.
The Solar Energy Industries Association, which represents installation
companies, said billions of dollars of solar investment will be delayed or
canceled, leading to the loss of 23,000 jobs this year.
Mark Bortman, founder of Exact Solar in Philadelphia, said the prospect of
tariffs, since the trade commission recommended them in October, had already
caused him to delay hiring and expansion plans.
"Solar is really just starting to take off because it is truly a win-win-win
situation" for consumers, workers and the environment, he said. "Tariffs would
really be shooting ourselves in the foot."
The case for tariffs on washing machines was pushed by Benton Harbor,
Michigan-based Whirlpool Corp. The company's chairman, Jeff Fettig, said
tariffs on imported machines would create new manufacturing jobs in Ohio,
Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.
"This is a victory for American workers and consumers alike," Fettig said.
"By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American
workers will compete on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts."
But U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, said Republicans need
to understand that tariffs are a tax on consumers.
"Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for
this --- not big companies," Sasse said in a statement.
Suniva, SolarWorld and Whirlpool were helped by a 1974 trade law that lets
companies seek trade protection if they can show damage from a rise in imports.
Up to certain levels, imports of solar cells will be exempt from the tariff,
while the first 1.2 million imported large washing machines will get a lower
tariff, peaking at 20 percent.
Congress has no authority to change or veto Trump's decision. Countries
affected by the decision can appeal to the World Trade Organization.
The markets opened firmer as called with more short-covering that took meal and beans to new highs for the recent move upward. Meal led the charge on concerns still about the health of Argentine crops. Soyoil futures lagged the pace, while wheat/corn trade was a dominant morning theme..............