Protecting solar panel manufacturers doesn't help American workers, it punishes them

Las Vegas Sun

11/2/17

President Trump has been the biggest advocate of protectionism to occupy the White House since Herbert Hoover, who signed a notorious tariff-raising law in 1930 that deepened the Great Depression. So far, though, the Trump administration has taken a limited, more conventional approach to trade imbalances, using tariffs only to raise the cost of imported materials and products that were allegedly being dumped into United States at below-cost prices.

Now, an independent federal agency that adjudicates trade disputes is urging Trump to broaden the shield that the U.S. already provides domestic solar panel manufacturers against unfair foreign competitors. Dusting off a little-enforced provision in federal law, the International Trade Commission on Tuesday called for the imposition of temporary emergency tariffs of up to 35% on foreign-made solar panels and modules, with no need for proof of dumping or subsidies, in order to give two U.S. companies time to adapt to a surge in imports. The commission is also moving to give appliance maker Whirlpool similar protection against foreign-made washing machines.

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