President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer followed through on the trade commission study from last year showing evidence of dumping in the U.S. market. Samsung anticipated this final outcome and is almost finished with their plans to manufacture washing machines in South Carolina.
Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that President Trump has approved recommendations to impose safeguard tariffs on imported large residential washing machines and imported solar cells and modules.
USTR made the recommendations to the President based on consultations with the interagency Trade Policy Committee (TPC) in response to findings by the independent, bipartisan U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that increased foreign imports of washers and solar cells and modules are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers.
“These cases were filed by American businesses and thoroughly litigated at the International Trade Commission over a period of several months,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “The ITC found that U.S. producers had been seriously injured by imports and made several recommendations to the President. Upon receiving these recommendations, my staff and I conducted an exhaustive process which included opportunities to brief in person and through public comments, public hearings, and meetings with senior representatives.
Based on this information, the Trade Policy Committee developed recommendations, which the President has accepted. The President’s action makes clear again that the Trump Administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this regard.”
For imports of large residential washers, the President approved applying a safeguard tariff-rate quota for three years with the following terms (read more)
Suniva, SolarWorld and Whirlpool were helped by a 1974 trade law that lets companies seek trade protection if they can show damage from a rise in imports. Prior administrations’ stopped using the law in the mid 1990’s, President Trump reconstituted the process in 2017 as part of his overall overall trade-plan.
Up to certain levels, imports of solar cells will be exempt from the tariff, while the first 1.2 million imported large washing machines will get a lower tariff, peaking at 20 percent.
Congress has no authority to change or veto Trump’s decision. Countries affected by the decision can appeal to the World Trade Organization. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their purchased DC politicians are apoplectic:
Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said Republicans need to understand that tariffs are a tax on consumers. “Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this — not big companies,” Sasse said in a statement.