201 Trade Case Update: Trump Administration Imposes Tariff on Imported Solar Panels

After months of uncertainty, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it is imposing a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and modules, which will step down 5% each year thereafter for a duration of four years. In addition, the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells are exempted from the tariff each year.

Safeguard Tariffs on Imported Solar Cells and Modules
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Tariff Increase 30% 25% 20% 15%

The tariff comes after a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that the U.S. domestic industry was seriously injured by the import of solar panels and subsequent recommendations made by the ITC as to the amount of such tariff, which we discussed in our blog post here.

According to a statement released by the sector’s primary trade organization, the Solar Energy Industries Association, it believes the decision effectively will cause the loss of roughly 23,000 American jobs this year and will result in the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars in solar investment.

While many were hoping for a lower tariff, the market had already begun pricing in substantial tariffs with the uncertainty that was in the market regarding the tariffs. The final tariffs were generally in line with the recommendations from the ITC and were much lower than the tariff rates requested by petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld.