Trump slaps tariffs on foreign solar panels along with washing machines

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The Trump administration can be imposing tariffs on imported solar panels along with washing machines.

The announcement marks President Trump’s first major trade action of 2018 along with follows his campaign promise to get tough on America’s trading partners.

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A tariff, or tax, of 30% will be applied to imported solar panels, most of which come by China. Tariffs will begin at 20% on large residential washing machines, according to the announcement Monday by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“The President’s action makes clear again which the Trump Administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, along with businesses in which regard,” Lighthizer said in a statement.

The decision comes after the independent U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determined which imports of solar panels along with washers had hurt American companies.

which also carries some symbolism: Lighthizer’s team resumes NAFTA negotiations on Tuesday with its counterparts by Mexico along with Canada. Later which week, Trump himself can be required to attend the planet Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an event for global elites who promote free trade along with oppose protectionist measures like tariffs.

Lighthizer also recently started out to renegotiate a trade agreement between South Korea along with the United States which he along with Trump blame for increasing the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea since 2012.

In these two cases, the Trump administration invoked a trade law by 1974 which was last used in 2001. The law allowed Trump to raise tariffs as high as he wanted.

“The administration could have gone well beyond what the ITC recommended along with imposed far more crippling tariffs,” said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “which will do some harm to some harm to solar installation, nevertheless which’s not going to shut down the industry.”

The solar panel tariff can be a blow to China, the primary country by which the U.S. imports solar panels. nevertheless which also could put some U.S. jobs at risk. Most of the American jobs related to solar panels involve installation, not manufacturing.

Related: Solar panels: A fight with China which Trump may want to avoid

Overall, about 260,000 Americans work inside the solar industry, up 24% by 2015, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

A separate advocacy organization, the Solar Energy Industries Association, warned before the tariffs were announced which such an action could put 48,000 to 63,000 American solar industry workers out of a job which year.

Industry advocates lambasted the tariff.

“which reckless decision will threaten tens of thousands of American jobs along with hurt our climate,” Howard Crystal, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit based in Arizona, said in a statement.

U.S. solar panel manufacturers Suniva along with SolarWorld filed a petition last year with the ITC to investigate the sale of solar panels marketed well below typical U.S. prices. The practice can be known as “dumping.”

Americans could ultimately pay the cost of the solar tariffs, Alden noted.

“If you were thinking about installing solar in your house, which’s going to become a little less attractive…the cost of solar installation will go up a bit,” says Alden. He added: “In all likelihood which will be a net jobs negative.”

Prices of washing machines could soon go up for Americans, too.

South Korea along with Mexico are the biggest losers by the washing machine tariffs. Those countries export the bulk of washers to the United States. Much of the production inside the two countries can be under the umbrella of South Korean giants Samsung along with LG.

For the first 1.2 million washers imported to the United States, the tariff will be 20%. After which, which goes up to 50%.

American washing machine maker Whirlpool had filed a petition going back to 2011, accusing LG along with Samsung of selling their washers at prices below the average inside the U.S. market.

Whirlpool said the Trump administration’s action could result in more manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina along with Tennessee.

“which can be a victory for American workers along with consumers alike,” Whirlpool Chairman Jeff Fettig said in a statement.

The tariffs may serve as a harbinger for various other upcoming trade decisions. Trump has less than 0 days to decide whether to apply tariffs on imports of steel along with aluminum, not to mention whether he will withdraw the United States by NAFTA.

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published January 22, 2018: 5:01 PM ET

Trump slaps tariffs on foreign solar panels along with washing machines

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