Trump backs revoking tariff exemption for solar panels


    WASHINGTON- US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation underscoring his support for revoking an exclusion from tariffs on some imported double-sided solar panels, and for raising the planned tariff rate to 18 percent for 2021 from 15 percent.

    Trump said the domestic US industry was starting to increase production and market share of certain solar modules after he imposed tariffs on imports in January 2018, but further steps were needed.

    Bifacial panels should not be excluded from the tariffs, Trump said, adding that doing so had limited the overall measures and would likely continue to impair their effectiveness.

    “In light of the increased imports of competing products such exclusion entails … it is necessary to revoke (the) exclusion and to apply the safeguard tariff to bifacial panels,” Trump said in a proclamation released by the White House.

    “To achieve the full remedial effect envisaged for that action, it is necessary to adjust the duty rate of the safeguard tariff for the fourth year of the safeguard measure to 18 percent.”

    Solar farm developers, including Chicagobased Invenergy Renewables LLC, had sued to maintain the exemption initially granted by the Trump administration, but it was later rescinded after officials realized it led to a spike in imports.

    The United States in January 2018 imposed duties on solar panel imports beginning at 30 percent and expected to drop to 15 percent by 2021. Trump’s announcement would put the rate at 18 percent next year.