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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is approving tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help U.S. manufacturers.
The administration cast Monday’s decisions as part of Trump’s pledge to put American companies and jobs first.
The administration is imposing an immediate tariff of 30 percent on most imported solar modules, with the rate declining before phasing out after four years.
An association representing solar installers says a U.S. tariff on solar panels will lead to the delay or cancellation of billions of dollars of investment in solar energy.
The Solar Energy Industries Association says the tariff will result in the loss of 23,000 industry jobs this year.
One of the group’s members is Bill Vietas, president of RBI Solar in Cincinnati. He says government tariffs will increase the cost of solar and depress demand, reducing orders and costing manufacturing workers their jobs.
Two small subsidiaries of foreign companies that made solar cells in the U.S. favor tariffs, but a larger number of companies that install solar-power systems say their costs will rise and jobs will be lost.
For large residential washing machines, tariffs will start at up to 50 percent and phase out after three years.
Whirlpool chairman Jeff Fettig say the decision on washing machines will create new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Mexico says it regrets the United States’ decision not to exclude it from tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels.
It says it will “use all available legal resources in response to the U.S. decision.” It says its inclusion in the application of protections is “regrettable” given the U.S. International Trade Commission determined no damage exists to U.S. industry as a consequence of imports of Mexican washing machines.
Germany is criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imports of washing machines and solar panels.
Economy minister Brigitte Zypries said Tuesday that Germany campaigns for “fair and free trade, and against protectionism.
Zypries said she concerned Trump’s decision could trigger a new trade war with China and South Korea, which in turn would have repercussions for Europe and Germany.
She said that “only strong global trade with open markets provides growth, jobs and innovation.”
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