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article imageCanadian solar companies suing Trump administration over tariffs

By Karen Graham     Feb 12, 2018 in Business
A handful of Canadian companies that make solar panels have sued the Trump administration over the 30-percent tariffs the president imposed last month on their products.
In a lawsuit filed last Wednesday in the United States Court of International Trade, Silfab Solar Inc., Heliene Inc., and Canada Solar Solutions Inc., along with U.S.-based distributor Canadian Solar (USA) Inc., said that since Canadian solar imports do not harm United States producers, the tariffs violate the Trade Act and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
"Because the proclamation is unlawful as applied to plaintiffs, and inflicts grave and irreversible harms on them, plaintiffs seek a declaration that the proclamation violates the Trade Act and the NAFTA Implementation Act and an injunction prohibiting its enforcement against plaintiffs,” they wrote.
The tariffs, which the U.S. administration says was done to put American companies and jobs first, will be enforced for the next four years, starting with levies of 30 percent that will ultimately fall to 15 percent. In each of the four years, the first 2.5 GW of imported solar panels and cells will be exempt from the tariffs.
The Trump administration's thinking on this clause will ensure that American solar module manufacturers will still have access to less expensive supplies for their own production. The White House also says the tariffs are mainly directed toward China, which it says has flooded global markets with low-cost crystalline silicon panels.
In related news on the tariffs, South Korea, Taiwan, and the European Union have also separately filed complaints in the World Trade Organization over the solar tariffs.
More about Solar panels, Tariffs, Trump administration, canadian companies, Nafta