On Tuesday October 31, the International Trade Commission’s panel of four members weighed in with their recommendations for President Trump on the Section 201 trade case. Standard Solar’s Tony Clifford sees no immediate effect. “Today’s decision will have little or no immediate effect on the industry. These are only the ITC’s recommendations—and there are three of them! “
The three recommendations:
The most stringent of the recommendations asks for an annual import quota to be set, after which tariffs of up to 35% on modules and 30% on cells. The import quota would increase over time, while the tariffs would decrease.
Another recommendation is to have the US government sell import licenses and assign an import limit of 8.9 MW per year, which would increase annually.
And the third recommendation is that after 1 GW of imported cells and modules in one year, a 30% tariff would begin.
Response in the industry
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper noted that while the outcome is good, it still leaves much uncertainty. "The commissioners clearly took a thoughtful approach to their recommendations and it's worth noting that in no case did a commissioner recommend anything close to what the petitioners asked for. That being said, proposed tariffs would be intensely harmful to our industry." Read her full response here.
The next step is to send these recommendations to President Trump by November 13, and then he will have 60 days to either accept one of these ideas or reject them all.