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Trump’s Titanic Gift to China’s Solar Makers

Trump’s Titanic Gift to China’s Solar Makers


The White House put an easily exploited loophole in its tariffs, and the effort to undo it has been held up in court.

For most of the past year, there’s been a big hole in President Trump’s China tariffs—one in the shape of a solar panel. Companies that build America’s major solar farms spent 2018 and early 2019 begging the administration to exempt jumbo versions of two-sided “bifacial” panels used to create vast, utility-scale solar farms. Relatively few bifacials are made domestically. For some reason, when the administration finally agreed to issue an exemption, it was much broader than the industry had suggested. So broad, in fact, that it reshaped the market and left Chinese panel makers as dominant as ever.

Since June, all bifacial panels have been tariff-free, and Chinese panel makers are turning the once-niche design into a cornerstone of their U.S.-aimed product lines. A trade court has temporarily blocked the White House’s efforts to kill the exemption. Trump is expected to decide as soon as next month, as part of a scheduled review, whether to make the otherwise-harsh solar tariffs even harsher. Trade adviser Peter Navarro has said “the loophole for bifacial solar panels China is currently exploiting needs to be slammed shut.” The White House declined to comment.

BOTTOM LINE – In an effort to appease hurting developers of solar power plants, the Trump administration has also let China’s panel makers easily avoid its punishing tariffs.

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Source : bloomberg
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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