Chinese inverter tariffs won’t jump to 25% yet on January 1

According to a White House statement, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to suspend further trade action for 90 days to continue negotiations.

“President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time. China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries. China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.”

Solar inverters are part of the $200 billion of Chinese imports that were set to be tariffed at 25% starting on January 1, 2019. Chinese inverters will now remain at the 10% tariff level for the next 90 days.

In a SEIA Member Update, CEO and president Abigail Ross Hopper said this news is good in the short term, but leaves many questions for other tariffed solar equipment.

“While this temporary truce is good news, the structural issues at the heart of the dispute will be difficult to resolve in 90 days. Indeed, to date, China has made no indication that it is prepared to adopt any of the structural changes sought by the Trump Administration. The solar industry should also recognize that any U.S.-China agreement would likely only cover the Section 301 tariffs, and not the Section 201 tariffs (cells and modules), Section 232 tariffs (steel and aluminum), or antidumping and countervailing duties.”

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