White House slows solar tariff for final year

Source: BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The White House on Saturday issued a proclamation that will set the tariff on solar panels and cells 18 percent starting in February, rather than letting it fall to 15 percent as scheduled. The tariff began at 30 percent in 2018 and stepped down 5 percentage points each year and is presently 20 percent. The decision comes as part of a legally required mid-term review of the tariff.

Perhaps more concerning for the industry , the proclamation also calls on the International Trade Commission to conduct another investigation to see if the tariffs are increasing domestic solar manufacturing. The commission could potentially extend the tariff if it finds that U.S. production is not being adequately protected. Of course, all of this will hinge on the outcome of the November election, as a Democratic nominee Joe Biden wants to implement a clean energy standard and is unlikely to extend a future solar tariff. The announcement also said the White House would close an exemption for two-sided solar modules, but the proclamation will have little impact on the ongoing litigation over whether that exemption is legal.