Breaking: President Trump issues 30% tariff on solar panel imports

Written By: Katherine DeMetre
January 23, 2018

The Trump administration has announced their final decision on the Section 201 Suniva trade case, stating that it would impose 30% tariffs on solar panel imports, specifically for crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells and modules. The administration has also decided that the first 2.5 GW of imports would be excluded. Last April, Suniva and SolarWorld sent a petition to the International Trade Commission (ITC) for import relief. The companies requested for a tariff of $0.40/watt on imported modules and a floor price of $0.78/watt on all modules. By Sept. 2017, the ITC ruled 4-0 in finding cause for severe injury to each respective company. According to GTM Research, the 30% tariff would roughly mean $0.10-$0.15/watt, which could reduce utility-scale solar installations by 9%. The updated tariff does not appear to favor the petitioners and could possibly lead to their downfall. Photo courtesy of the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Since the President's announcement, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates a loss of roughly 23,000 American solar jobs this year, as well as delays or cancellations of "billions of dollars" in solar investments. "While tariffs, in this case, will not create adequate cell or module manufacturing to meet U.S. 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, in a statement.

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