Trump slaps tariffs on solar panels and washing machines
The Trump administration is imposing tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, a measure that mainly affects China, South Korea and Mexico. The announcement marks the first major commercial action of President Donald Trump in 2018.
On solar panels, Trump imposed tariffs of 30% in the first year, which will gradually fall to half that figure in four years.
As for the washing machines, the rates will start at 20% for large residential washing machines, according to the announcement made by the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer.
South Korea and Mexico are the most affected by washing machine tariffs since both countries supply the U.S. market from Samsung and LG manufacturing facilities.
In a statement, Samsung said consumers will pay more for washing machines adding that the company has hired 600 workers at a new plant in South Carolina for its manufacture. LG also added that he was disappointed by what he called a “wrong decision” by Trump.
The tariff on solar panels mostly affects China, the main U.S. supplier, but it could also put at risk thousands of jobs in the renewable energy industry since tariffs make solar panels more expensive, and thus discourage their use.
Those tariffs would cause 23,000 installers, engineers and project managers to lose their jobs this year if planned investments are cancelled.