US imposes protectionist imported goods tariffs

24 Jan 18

The US has approved tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels in efforts to protect local manufacturers from foreign competition.

This will heavily affect China and South Korea, who are the biggest exporters of these products to the US.

US president Donald Trump put the “America First” trade policy forward during his election campaign.

He said in his inauguration speech last year he would protect US borders from other countries “making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs”.

The tariffs set on washing machines and parts were much higher than expected, adding as much as 50% in some cases, according to US documents.

The rates on solar panels were lower than projected.

Approximately 1.6m washing machines were imported to the US in 2010.

The first 1.2 million imported residential washing machines in the first year will have a 20% tariff imposed on them, while a 50% rate will be on machines after this number has been reached.

On solar panels, the tariffs in the first year will be 30%, falling to 15% by the fourth year.

Earlier this month, India proposed a 70% duty on solar equipment for China and Malaysia to protect its domestic industry from “serious injury”. 

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