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ITC Recommendations Include Tariffs on Solar Panels from Mexico and South Korea

Following a unanimous decision in September by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that domestic producers of solar panels have been significantly harmed by imports, the ITC sent a final report to the White House in November with proposed remedies. The four commissioners presented three different recommendations in the report to be implemented over a four-year period.

The ITC found that U.S. imports from Canada, Australia, U.S.‐Dominican Republic  ( the Central America Free Trade Agreement (“CAFTA‐DR”) countries), Colombia, Israel, Jordan, Panama, Peru, and Singapore were not a substantial cause of the serious injury. Further, duties had already been imposed on China and Taiwan in 2012 and 2015. Therefore, the remedies proposed by the ITC commissioners only impact imports from Mexico and South Korea. The three recommendations range from setting various quota from 0.5GW to 8.9GW in year one and imposing a 30% to 35% tariff that will be slowly reduced over four years as the quotas increase. The commissioners also recommend providing development assistance to domestic producers during the remedy period, such as investments in technology and rehiring workers.  Greentech Media research suggests the impact of a 30% tariff (approximately $0.10/watt) may reduce utility-scale solar installations by 9%. https://www.utilitydive.com/news/gtm-warns-of-solar-installation-declines-ahead-of-itc-trade-case-remedy-vot/507709/

The President, not the Commission, will make a final decision and can implement the Commission’s recommendations, devise tougher tariffs or do nothing. The President has until the end of January to make a decision.  More information can be found at the following  links:

https://d12v9rtnomnebu.cloudfront.net/paychek/ITC_Final_recs.pdf
https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2017/er0922ll832.htm
https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2017/er1031ll857.htm
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/itc-lays-out-case-for-solar-tariffs-in-report-sent-to-trump/511297/

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