No Longer Tariff-ied

ITC’s solar panel proposal surprises by coming in at 35%

U.S. solar energy developers might get their first good sleep in a month after hearing the first proposal on imported solar panel tariffs from the International Trade Commission Tuesday, which came in at an unexpectedly modest 35%. The proposal will be sent to President Trump for approval, for which he has a deadline of January. The ITC is an independent agency.

Although not finalized—and still cause for additional payment of essential product in the solar industry— the 35 percent figure comes as a huge relief to solar employees and investors, who were preparing for worse. The decision to tax imported solar panels, known as Section 201, is rooted in a complaint filed by two major U.S. solar panel manufacturers, Suniva of Norcross, Ga., and SolarWorld of Hillsboro, Oregon, who aimed to emphasize what they felt was a drastic threat to the U.S. solar industry presented by cheaply imported solar panels from Asia.

The ITC determined imported solar panels to be a threat to U.S. solar manufacturers in a 4-0 vote September 22. The ruling found that imports of cheap solar panels have “caused injury to domestic solar manufacturers.”

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