Canada hits out at ‘unwarranted’ US tariffs on solar products

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Image: Canadian Solar.

Canada has requested consultations with the US on the latter’s “unwarranted” tariffs on imports of crystalline silicon PV cells.

A statement from Canadian trade minister Mary Ng said that since their introduction in early 2018, the tariffs have caused Canada’s exports of solar products to the US to decline by as much as 82%.

She said the tariffs “clearly violate” the provisions and spirit of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which entered into force last year and replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Despite the US International Trade Commission finding that Canada was not a major exporter of solar products to its neighbour, the US imposed the Section 201 tariffs on imports from Canada in 2018, resulting in legal action taken against the Trump administration by solar manufacturers. Starting at 30%, the duty declined to 25% in 2019 and then 20% last year.

The Canadian government considers that the measure is inconsistent with the US’ obligations of under USMCA. Ng said that if the issue is not resolved through consultations, Canada may request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to adjudicate the matter.

“As we work to rebuild our economies and overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada and the United States must work together through strong cross-border climate action to attract investment in the North American economy, cut pollution, strengthen supply chains and grow jobs for people on both sides of the border in the increasingly competitive low-carbon global economy,” Ng said.

The removal of the US’ tariffs on imported solar cells and modules is one of six policy priorities that the Solar Energies Industries Association is asking President-elect Joe Biden and the new Congress to act on during their first 100 days in office. The trade body says the result of the Section 201 and 301 tariffs on solar equipment means the cost of panels in the US is “roughly 50% higher than the global average”.

Read Next

January 21, 2022
Toronto-based renewables developer Amp Energy has closed on a US$350 million credit facility to advance on a global portfolio of renewables and battery energy storage assets.
PV Tech Premium
January 18, 2022
Solar project developer Eco Energy World is aiming to “aggressively” grow its US PV pipeline after formally entering the market last week and intends to replicate the cheaper engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) costs it sees in Europe in the country. PV Tech Premium speaks to CEO Svante Kumlin to find out more.
January 16, 2022
The US Government has appealed against the reinstatement of an exemption from Section 201 tariffs for bifacial modules.
January 14, 2022
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a “Building a Better Grid” initiative to catalyse the development of “new and upgraded high-capacity electric transmission lines” across the US under President Joe Biden’s US$1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
January 13, 2022
Lightsource bp has closed on a US$533 million financing package for the development of 480MW of solar PV across the US as the company continues to expand its operations in the country.
January 12, 2022
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) alongside co-investors has closed on a US$500 million investment in independent power producer (IPP) BrightNight LLC to fund the company’s development efforts as well as the construction and operations of its projects.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal