President Trump Approves Tariffs on Imported Washing Machines and Solar Panels

by Abel Hampton January 26, 2018, 1:16
President Trump Approves Tariffs on Imported Washing Machines and Solar Panels

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the tariffs were imposed after an "exhaustive" review by USTR and the independent US International Trade Commission which determined US producers were "seriously injured by imports".

"The estimates on the manufacturing jobs added is in the hundreds and we're talking about a potential loss of 100,000 lost on the installation side", he said.

Specifically, the Trump Administration has announced that the tariffs will apply to solar panels and washing machines manufactured outside of the US. Tariffs will last for four years and incrementally decline 15 percent by the fourth year.

The US Government has confirmed it will be imposing tariffs on imported solar panels. The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported cells are excluded from the increased tariff.

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. Instead of bringing high wage jobs back to America, the Trump Administration could possibly be eliminating over 23,000 jobs from the solar power industry with this decision.

"It boggles my mind that this president, any president, really, would voluntarily choose to damage one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy", said Tony Clifford, Chief Development Officer for Standard Solar in Rockville, Maryland.

According to the trade representative of that country, "the actions of the president again make clear that the Trump government will always defend workers, farmers, ranchers and USA businesspeople in that sense".

SolarWorld, which pushed for tariffs along with Suniva, is a USA -based subsidiary of a German company. "It was a deal that was going to create 200,000 jobs, and we lost 200,000 jobs".

The tariffs were also disparaged by Republicans like Senators Ben Sasse and John McCain, who tweeted Tuesday that the tariffs amounted to "nothing more than a tax on consumers".

Chinese industry sources have said that there will be a severe impact, more on the USA consumers and industry as compared to China if the United States continues with its move to impose extra tariffs on the solar panels imported from China.

The decision could also result in a delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments, said SEIA. But Reuters reports that manufacturing accounts for just 14 percent of jobs in the solar sector.

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