Trump slaps tariffs on solar panels, washing machines

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The main beneficiaries of the tariff include US -based solar manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld.

The US has approved controversial tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels in line with president Donald Trump's "America First" trade policy.

On top of that, MIDF highlighted that inward flows from the United States fell for the first three consecutive quarters of 2017 in tandem with Trump's protectionist moves.

Under the tariff, announced by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, solar cells and modules will be charged an extra 30 per cent in the first year, then 25 per cent, 20 per cent, and 15 per cent in subsequent years, when imported into the States. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), a USA manufacturer of thin-film solar panels, saw its share price skyrocket on the news, as its competition - foreign manufacturers - will see costs rise.

"It's really going to impact the solar industry for a while".

Still, the possibility of retaliation is not imminent, given the smallness of China's exports of solar panels to the United States in relation to total bilateral trade.

The SE statement added that the United States' importation of Mexican solar panels encourages the development of renewable energies, which in turn contribute to a reduction of the use of fossil fuels.

The impact of a tariff can protect domestic producers from dumping goods in the USA, but it can also lead to sharply higher costs for the consumer. "They will create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving", said Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the association. 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.

Second, the decision is less severe than what was recommended to President Trump.

"My administration is committed to defending American companies, and they've been very badly hurt from harmful import surges that threaten the livelihood of their workers", Trump said as he signed the tariff.

"New Mexico has seen major job growth in the solar industry, thanks to the rapidly declining cost of solar power", he said in his testimony in October. Other manufacturers from Asia voiced similar sentiments.

Noting that China would become the world's largest market, with a market size that is potentially three to four times that of the U.S., she said China would promote economic and trade relations with other countries through increasing the "cake of cooperation".

The main beneficiaries include US -based solar manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld - both controlled by foreign parent companies. BNEF figures suggest the cost of solar modules could jump 10 cents to 43 cents per watt - a sizable increase. In fact, the industry installed a record 13.6 GW in 2016, a record high. The tariffs will decrease by 5 percent each year through 2021.

"Chinese solar products are just as good, if not, better than USA made solar products", Cheshire said.

But the SE statement questioned the impact of Mexican imports on the competitiveness of USA industries.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., has been one of the most vocal opponents of the tariff.