President Trump Revokes the Exclusion for Bifacial Modules and Expands Solar Tariffs

PVTIME - On October 10, the White House announced the results of the Section 201 midterm review via a Presidential Proclamation.

Unfortunately, President Trump has:

  • revoked the exclusion for bifacial modules (with tariffs being applied to bifacial modules beginning October 25, 2020);
  • modified the February 2021 tariff step down rate from 20% to 18%, versus the previously announced step down from 20% to 15% (effective February 7, 2021); and
  • authorized the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to initiate an investigation to extend the tariffs beyond four years.

The President also appears to have taken action regarding the tariff rate quota on cells but has not yet provided specific information on this issue.

Regarding potential extension of the tariffs beyond four years, upon USTR’s request, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) will conduct a formal investigation to determine whether the tariffs should be extended, similar in process to the 2019 midterm review investigation. If the Commission determines that the tariffs should be extended, they will issue a recommendation to the President, who will then have sole authority on whether to extend the tariffs. We anticipate that the USITC’s extension investigation will take approximately 4-6 months once initiated.

We will need to monitor closely the market reaction to this news given the 3% change in the expected tariffs.