US President Donald Trump has approved high tariffs on imports of solar cells and washing machines to protect the domestic American market.
The presidential action has been taken to protect the domestic American market that is being badly hit by large scale import of washing machines and solar cells mainly from China, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said.
USTR made the recommendations to the President based on consultations with the inter agency Trade Policy Committee (TPC) in response to findings by the independent, bipartisan US International Trade Commission (ITC) that increased imports of washers and solar cells and modules are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers.
“These cases were filed by American businesses and thoroughly litigated at the International Trade Commission over a period of several months,” said USTR Robert Lighthizer.
“The ITC found that US producers had been seriously injured by imports and made several recommendations to the President,” he said, adding that the President’s action makes clear again that the Trump Administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this regard.
USTR said injury to US washing machine manufacturers stems from a sharp increase in imports that began in 2012.
The ITC found that imports of large residential washers increased “steadily” from 2012 to 2016, and that domestic producers’ financial performance “declined precipitously.”
The relief will include a tariff of 30 per cent in the first year, 25 per cent in the second year, 20 per cent in the third year, and 15 per cent in the fourth year.
Additionally, the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the safeguard tariff in each of those four years, USTR said.
The US Trade Representative will engage in discussions among interested parties that could lead to positive resolution of the separate antidumping and countervailing duty measures currently imposed on Chinese solar products and US polysilicon, it said.
According to USTR, the goal of those discussions must be fair and sustainable trade throughout the whole solar energy value chain, which would benefit US producers, workers, and consumers.