Canadian Solar Companies Argue for Solar Tariff Exemption

Mar 16, 2018

A judge recently announced his decision to refuse a temporary block on Canadian solar product “global safeguard” tariffs. Back in January, President Trump announced the implementation of tariffs on imported solar materials. The decision was a controversial one that was met with backlash from many in the U.S. solar installation industry, as first reported in the January 26 edition of Capitol Update.

Following this backlash, Canadian solar companies also voiced their opposition to the tariffs, arguing that Canada should be exempt from the tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement, and because Canadian imports do not meet the threshold required for the U.S. to impose countervailing duties. Canadian solar imports account for only about 2 percent of U.S. imports.

But Chief Judge Timothy Stanceu has denied this motion, explaining that this decision to exclude Canada from the tariffs is up to President Trump, not the judicial system.  Many U.S. solar companies support Judge Stanceu, with his decision coming on the heels of American company SunPower’s announcement that it is being forced to lay off almost three percent of its workforce and shutter plans to a new plant that was projected to create thousands of new jobs, due to financial concerns. In addition to Canada, many other countries such as Japan, China and the European Union have expressed opposition to the tariffs.

For more information on U.S. duties on solar cells and modules, visit: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/Press/fs/201%20Cases%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf