US Might Levy Solar Tariffs
Author: Source: Datetime: 2017-12-02 10:45:38
In a letter Monday, U.S. trade representative Lighthizer called for a report from the U.S. International Trade Commission to help the president take "appropriate and feasible action" to support domestic solar panel makers.
In November, the Trade Commission recommended that the U.S. government impose tariffs of up to 35% on imported solar power generator panels to help U.S. manufacturers compete. Previously, Suniva Inc., a bankrupt solar panel maker, filed a trade complaint alleging it was strangled by foreign rivals. Trump has the final say in setting tariffs.
Lighthizer specifically called on the Trade Commission to identify any "unforeseen developments" that have caused U.S. companies to be harmed.
Suniva's trade complaint is based on the law that the law gives the president a wide range of customs duties. However, the United States always loses every time laws and regulations are challenged by the WTO. Trade analysts say the key issue is the inconsistency between the law and the United States obligations to the WTO. For example, to win a lawsuit at the WTO, it must demonstrate a foreign competition that can not be reasonably foreseen, while the laws of the United States only require the company to prove that they have been harmed.
Packard said the white house's request for more information may also be justified in its quest for non-taxation.
Most solar industries are opposed to tariffs, as this will slow down installation and lead to the loss of thousands of workers. Influential conservatives and free trade groups are also opposed to taxation. If the CTC can not point out any unforeseen circumstances, Trump may have an easy reason to say no to Suniva.
Packard said: "If they are looking for some way out of this issue, then (I think) this may be their best choice."
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