WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a proclamation underscoring his support for revoking an exclusion from tariffs on some imported double-sided solar panels, and for raising the planned tariff rate to 18% for 2021 from 15%.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after treatment for the coronavirus at the White House in Washington


© Reuters/ERIN SCOTT
U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after treatment for the coronavirus at the White House in Washington

Trump said the domestic U.S. industry was starting to increase production and market share of certain solar modules after he imposed tariffs on imports in January 2018, but further steps were needed.

Bifacial panels should not be excluded from the tariffs, Trump said, adding that doing so had limited the overall measures and would likely continue to impair their effectiveness.

“In light of the increased imports of competing products such exclusion entails … it is necessary to revoke (the) exclusion and to apply the safeguard tariff to bifacial panels,” Trump said in a proclamation released by the White House.

“To achieve the full remedial effect envisaged for that action, it is necessary to adjust the duty rate of the safeguard tariff for the fourth year of the safeguard measure to 18 percent.”

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Solar farm developers, including Chicago-based Invenergy Renewables LLC, had sued to maintain the exemption initially granted by the Trump administration, but it was later rescinded after officials realized it led to a spike in imports.

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The United States in January 2018 imposed duties on solar panel imports beginning at 30% and expected to drop to 15% by 2021. Trump’s announcement would put the rate at 18%

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a proclamation underscoring his support for revoking an exclusion from tariffs on some imported double-sided solar panels, and for raising the planned tariff rate to 18% for 2021 from 15%.

Trump said the domestic U.S. industry was starting to increase production and market share of certain solar modules after he imposed tariffs on imports in January 2018, but further steps were needed.

Bifacial panels should not be excluded from the tariffs, Trump said, adding that doing so had limited the overall measures and would likely continue to impair their effectiveness.

“In light of the increased imports of competing products such exclusion entails … it is necessary to revoke (the) exclusion and to apply the safeguard tariff to bifacial panels,” Trump said in a proclamation released by the White House.

“To achieve the full remedial effect envisaged for that action, it is necessary to adjust the duty rate of the safeguard tariff for the fourth year of the safeguard measure to 18 percent.”

Solar farm developers, including Chicago-based Invenergy Renewables LLC, had sued to maintain the exemption initially granted by the Trump administration, but it was later rescinded after officials realized it led to a spike in imports.

The United States in January 2018 imposed duties on solar panel imports beginning at 30% and expected to drop to 15% by 2021. Trump’s announcement would put the rate at 18% next year.

China and other producers dominate the bifacial technology market, a small but growing part of the solar panel market that costs more but produces greater power than traditional panels.

Consumers and importers have argued that higher tariffs will boost their costs and are unnecessary because domestic producers do not make the panels and face no harm from imports.

Domestic producers

KALAMAZOO, MI — The Kalamazoo City Commission voted to set a public hearing for Monday, Oct. 19, to consider a request from Zoetis LLC, for a PA 198 Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificate for 12 years for real property valued at $47,859,166.

The Kalamazoo City Commission approved the hearing during its Oct. 5 meeting.

Zoetis LLC plans to invest about $94,366,000 to the current operation in the city of Kalamazoo. The organization expansion will allow Zoetis to bring in three new products to its Kalamazoo manufacturing location at 2605 Kilgore Road, according to a recommended resolution presented to the commission. The production growth is estimated to create around 22 new full-time jobs with the planned expansion, the city agenda packet states.

Zoetis is the world’s largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock, according to the city of Kalamazoo, and directly markets its products in approximately 45 different countries around the world.

The tax exemption comes under Public Act 198 and requires state approval, city of Kalamazoo Community Investment Manager Antonio Mitchell said. The city can set the duration of the certificate in the process, Mitchell said.

The Kalamazoo City Assessor’s staff has completed a fiscal impact analysis based upon the company’s tax exemption certificate application. The total revenue collected will be $143,577 while $143,578 is abated, according to the city.

Mark Callahan of Zoetis gave a brief presentation, and said the expansion would bring total Zoetis positions to about 1,100 in Kalamazoo County. The project is a 41,000-square foot addition that will allow the company to make new products based on the solid oral dose platforms. The products will be ingestible or chewable tablets, Callahan said.

Plant construction is under way, he said.

Commissioner Jack Urban asked if reports could be audited annually, saying it gives the