Solar Tariffs on the Way

The US International Trade Commission has recommended that the United States place tariffs on foreign imports of solar products.  This protectionist tax, which will cost up to 30% of the price of the product, is sure to hinder solar development in the US.  It will drive the cost of solar panels up for everyone and offer artificial competition protection for American manufacturers.

From La Times

In a case that has riven the booming American solar energy sector for six months, the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended levying comparatively modest tariffs on imports of silicon-based solar photovoltaic cells and solar panels.

The measures recommended Tuesday by the ITC’s four commissioners include establishing a licensing fee on some equipment, an idea developed by the Solar Energy Industries Assn., and tariffs on silicon-based solar cells of up to 30%, as well as tariffs on solar panels that range from 10% to 35%.

The recommended remedies, which the ITC will transmit to President Trump by Nov. 13, were considerably lower than the 78-cents-per-watt tariff suggested by Suniva and SolarWorld Americas, the international companies that brought the tariff case late in April.

In a tweet Tuesday, MJ Shiao, head of Americas Research at GTM Research, a unit of Wood Mackenzie, said levying a 30% tariff would increase the price of solar panels by 10 cents to 15 cents per watt. Rooftop solar panels were priced earlier this year around 35 cents per watt, and 55 cents per watt for a utility-scale solar panel.

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at

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