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Shock: Impose A 25% Tariff On China's Inverter And Other Products, And Formally Hold Hearings On August 20th.
- Aug 03, 2018 -

The Trump administration's trade war with China, and with the rest of the world, has created a continually unstable environment in the solar industry, which is still the case. Yesterday (August 1st), US trade representative Robert Richter announced that President Trump had considered increasing the tax rate from 10% to 25% on the list of China's imports published in July 10th. The list includes inverter, AC module with micro inversion and lithium ion battery.

No definite decision has yet been made on whether to raise the tax rate eventually or whether to incorporate any particular product line under Clause 301. The move was not directed at the solar industry, because hundreds of individual products, including many agricultural and chemical products, could be subject to tariffs.

As stated in Lighthizer's statement, these responsibilities seem to be part of the escalation of trade war involving the Trump administration.

Quote: The Trump administration continues to urge China to stop its unfair practices, open its markets and participate in genuine market competition. We are very clear about the specific changes China should take. Unfortunately, instead of changing its harmful practices, China illegally retaliates against American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses.

Lighthizer pointed out that stakeholders could address this potential increase in import tariffs in the comments, which have been extended to September 5. The deadline for the request for public hearing at the latest round of the 301 obligation was also postponed to August 13th.

The public hearing on taxation in July 10th will be held in from August 20th to 23rd.

Regardless of whether the tariff is implemented, some Chinese inverter manufacturers have begun to take measures to avoid tariff effects. Although there is no clear reference to US tariffs, Sungrow has opened a 3GW inverter factory in India, and in its latest quarterly results, Enphase announced plans to hire another contract manufacturer outside China.