Seoul Calls for Bilateral Talks with USA over Safeguard Measures

Solar energy is booming in the United States, but companies riding the wave fear that President Donald Trump could undercut them with new tariffs on imported solar panels.

Instead, the United States would use a range of trade policy "sticks" to address the widening trade deficit with China such as anti-dumping actions and investigations into unfair trade practices and violations of intellectual property rights. GTM Research estimated it may cut US installations by 11 percent over the next five years.

Seitz said her company buys solar products from large foreign corporations like Hyundai and LG Electronics due to their "diverse portfolios" and she does not believe that domestic companies will drive prices up because of the tariffs. The experts said the USA had in the year 2012 imposed tariffs of 36 percent on the solar panels from China.

The chairman of Whirlpool Corporation, Jeff Fettig, subsequently said that the new tariff on washing machines would create new manufacturing jobs in the US states of Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Analysis provided to ThinkProgress by GTM Research concludes, "new and emerging state markets are disproportionately affected [by the new tariff], with southern states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, and SC amongst the most impacted by the tariffs".

The US Trade Representative (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.

The move on solar panels is seen as largely aimed at China and South Korea is the target for that of washing machines. That migration has resulted in lower-priced solar projects, which is helping to drive consumer demand because the time to recoup upfront installation costs is shorter than ever.

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"The rooftop sector of the industry will lose jobs like installers and utility programs will lose investors because the time it takes for costs to payback will be doubled", Crystal said.

A spokesman said the administration would "always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers and businessmen".

"To think of solar as a manufacturing business in the U.S.is misguided", Kadish says". "The penetration of solar in the US will continue". The solar industry provides more than 2,000 jobs in Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties alone.

"New Mexico could once again become a power player in the nation's solar energy production, bringing job growth and more revenues that our state needs", he said in a statement. Plans for more projects are in the works.

We also note that the real impact of the Solar Tariff may be blunted by steps already taken by developers, contractors and investors in the second half of 2017.

"Trump dismissed the prospect of a trade war and said during the signing that "a lot of manufacturers" will come to the United States to build solar plants".

China, the world's biggest solar panel producer, branded the move an "overreaction" that would harm the global trade environment for affected products. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, has filed legislation this session, Senate Bill 79, to restore the credit for 10 percent of the total cost of materials and installation with a $9,000 cap.


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