Industry Trend Analysis - Trump's Solar Tariffs: First Thoughts - FEB 2018

BMI View: The Trump administration ' s impos ition of tariffs on imported solar panels will raise development costs for US solar projects and potentially prompt the cancellation of projects that are already in the pipeline. The move could also push down international solar projects costs as the market faces overcapacity, incentivising solar development elsewhere.

On Monday 22nd January, US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panels, in a bid to protect the US domestic solar manufacturing industry from 'serious injury'. This move is in response to the Section 201 trade case initiated by US-based manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld in April 2017, to defend the US solar market from cheap imported photovoltaic components, notably from Asia (see 'Quick View: ITC Injury Finding Triggers Major Uncertainty For Solar Industry ' , September 22 2017). Trump has also introduced tariffs on imported washing machines, although at a different rate.

The tariffs will be in place for a total of four years, and will be levied at 30% for the first year, and then decrease by 5% over subsequent years. The move was largely expected, given President Trump has previously expressed eagerness to support US manufacturers and his strong rhetoric on Chinese trade policy; China is by far the largest source of US solar panel imports (see ' US Protectionism In 2018: Steel, Aluminium, Solar PV Likely First Targets ' , January 17 ' ).

China Key Market Player Among Targeted Goods
US - Imports From China, % of Total & Value, USDbn (2016 Values)
Source: TradeMap, BMI

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