Photo of Paul Rosenthal

Yesterday, President Trump announced his decisions on two high-profile trade cases brought under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, which authorizes import restraints to protect domestic industries that are seriously injured by imports. These cases, which involve solar panels and washing machines from a variety of countries, are the first affirmative actions under this statutory provision since 2002.

In the solar panel case, the President announced increased tariffs for four years, starting at 30 percent and declining five percent per year over the relief period. These tariffs are lower than those sought by the two domestic petitioners in the case, Solar World and Suniva. The sting of the tariffs is softened further by the exemption from additional duties for the first 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels that are imported each year.
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Negotiators for the United States, Canada and Mexico wrapped up their second round of discussions concerning renegotiation of the NAFTA. While the negotiators expressed pleasure at the progress made, by all accounts the talks provided no new breakthroughs. Apparently, new texts in certain areas were exchanged, but no progress was made on the difficult issues