October 11 (Renewables Now) - From October 28, 2019 bifacial solar panels will be back on the list of photovoltaic (PV) product imports subject to Section 201 tariffs, the US Trade Representative (USTR) has announced early this week.
Solar panels consisting only of bifacial PV cells were exempted from the tariffs in June of this year. Following additional evaluations, however, the USTR concluded that maintaining the exclusion would undermine the objectives of the safeguard measure.
That decision was described as an extraordinary and unprecedented turn of events by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). It noted that the exemption was hastily rescinded without any opportunity for public notice and comment.
“In its rush to judgement, USTR missed an opportunity to address the significant shortage of domestic solar panels and its decision will slow the growth of an American economic engine,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA President and chief executive officer.
The safeguard tariffs, announced in January 2018 by US President Donald Trump, are set to remain effective for four years. The duty in the first year was 30% and it decreases by five percentage points for each year the tariffs are in effect.