Trump approves 30 percent tariff on solar panels

A group pushing expanded solar power in SC is lamenting a decision made by USA president Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on imported solar panels. The White House took action on imports of washing machines and solar products based on requests by companies who said their operations in the U.S. were being harmed by imports. "The solar industry embodies innovation, resiliency and job creation-all of the characteristics that have made our country great".

That same month, the U.S. International Trade Commission delivered three separate sets of recommendations to Trump created to curb imports of solar components, ranging from quotas to a tariff on imports of 35 percent. "Some rooftop solar companies may have to pull out" of some states, he added. "It's been a long time", Trump said during the signing. The company began operations at its factory in Newberry County, South Carolina, on January 12, but it will probably take four or five months before it reaches full capacity.

Other US trading partners were also quick to react, with Mexico saying it would use legal means to ensure Washington met global obligations, pointing to compensation envisaged under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But until Tuesday, the administration had not imposed major tariffs on imported goods.

The new order imposes a 30 percent tariff on solar panels imported into the US and a 50 percent tariff on imported washing machines. Principals at the company project the growth trend will continue and its solar installations will increase by more 30% this year, despite the tariff news. Suniva and SolarWorld Americas, the foreign-owned companies that manufacture in the USA that petitioned the government for the tariffs, contend that this will create manufacturing jobs.

Trump has said the tariff will lead to more U.S. manufacturing jobs, by preventing foreign goods that are cheap and often subsidised from undercutting domestic products.

The news sent SMA Solar, Germany's largest solar group, which makes 46 percent of its sales in the Americas, down 4.6 percent to a four-week low, while Norway's REC Silicon shed 1.2 percent. "The penetration of solar in the US will continue". It was "better than expected", JinkoSolar Holding Co., the world's largest producer of solar panels and China's largest exporter, said on Monday.

"Probably the most the important part of that message is that the U.S. Administration still has protectionism at the top of its list of priorities", said Quijano-Evans. Installations have jumped tenfold since 2010.

Other U.S. solar stocks were mixed. Tom Mazzie, CEO of the electric utility company CleanChoice Energy, told Futurism, "It's simple math: Tariffs increase solar costs". We are disappointed in this decision because we know the impact the solar industry has already had on our state's economy alone, including thousands of new jobs over the course of just a few years.

Operation in Syria's Afrin has begun - Recep Erdogan
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Turkish army and Kurdish forces exchanged shelling near Afrin. Later on Saturday the Kurds accused the Turks of launching air strikes against residential areas in Afrin.

Economists still believe the United States will avoid taking measures that could impact USA companies global supply chains, particularly for cars and electronics.

The U.S. -based Solar Energy Industries Association said the decision could cause the loss of around 23,000 this year, and result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investments. And he thinks China may not bother to retaliate with trade sanctions of their own.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hailed the new tariffs. "It addresses the global import surge", Brightbill said. "This tariff is a tax on every consumer who wants to buy a washing machine". "So a lot of people are watching us", he said. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. "Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this - not big companies".

Exhausted of the wrangling, the South Korean companies announced plans past year to build plants in the United States - Samsung in Newberry, South Carolina, and LG is Clarksville, Tennessee.

South Korea could push back by launching a complaint through the Geneva-based World Trade Organization, but that is likely to take years. Trump dismissed worries of trade retaliation. The company has seen an increase in demand for its unique technology. Beijing has warned that it will "resolutely safeguard" its interests if Washington acts.

He also said the administration is "looking at" possible trade restrictions on steel and aluminum. The country's Economy Ministry in a statement Tuesday said "Mexico will utilize all legal resources available in response to the USA decision". He has promised that any actions will protect steelworkers from imports.

"There won't be a trade war", Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Koenig reported from Dallas.