With the U.S. election just weeks away, President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation once again imposing trade tariffs on bifacial solar panels, effectively rolling back the exemption he originally granted in June 2019.
As previously reported, the proclamation is the latest skirmish in the president’s ongoing battle with the U.S. solar industry over the panels, which produce power on both sides and are increasingly used in large utility-scale projects. Quietly released on Oct. 10, its main argument is that “bifacial modules are likely to account for a greater share of the market in the future and can substitute for monofacial products in the various market segments, such that exempting imports of bifacial modules from the safeguard tariff would apply significant downward pressure on prices of domestically produced (bifacial) modules.”
Trump also cited the impact of bifacial’s growing share of the U.S. market as his reason for putting a hold on the fourth year step-down of the solar tariffs from 20% to 15%, resetting the rate for all imported solar panels instead at 18%. When first imposed in 2018 as part of Trump’s trade war with China, the tariffs were set at 30%, to be decreased 5% each year for four years.
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