Trump slaps steep US tariffs on imported washers, solar panels

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES: US President Donald Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels on Monday, giving a boost to Whirlpool Corp and dealing a setback to the renewable energy industry in the first of several potential trade restrictions.
The decisions in the two “Section 201” safeguard cases followed findings by the US International Trade Commission that both imported products “are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.
The washer tariffs exceeded the harshest recommendations from ITC members, while the solar tariffs were lower than domestic producers had hoped for. The restrictions aim to help domestic manufacturers but drew complaints that consumer costs for new washers and solar installations will rise.
Trump will impose a 20 per cent tariff on the first 1.2 million imported large residential washers in the first year, and a 50 per cent tariff on machines above that number. The tariffs decline to 16 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in the third year.
A 30 per cent tariff will be imposed on imported solar cells and modules in the first year, with the tariffs declining to 15 per cent by the fourth year. The tariff allows 2.5 gigawatts of unassembled solar cells to be imported tariff-free in each year.
— Reuters