U.S. to slap tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels

Mexico criticized the move and said it would use all legal means at its disposal to ensure the United States met its international obligations
Washing machine production – Photo: Michael Reynolds/EFE
24/01/2018
13:20
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
REUTERS
-A +A

On Monday, the United States announced that it will slap tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels from China, Korea, and Mexico.

Mexico’s Economy Ministry, Ildefonso Guajardo, criticized the move and he said it would use all legal means at its disposal to ensure the United States met its international obligations.

“Mexico’s government regrets the United States’ decision not to exclude Mexico from the measures taken today,” the ministry said in a statement, noting that the United States imported some USD$278 million worth of washing machines from Mexico in 2016.

In addition, the United States imported some USD$1.127 billion worth of solar panels from Mexico that year, it added.

Referring to the legal measures it would make use of to ensure the United States fulfilled its international obligations, Mexico pointed to compensation envisaged under the article 802.6 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, announced that the tariffs on imported washing machines will increase from 20% to 50% for a period of three years and they will gradually taper down until they reach between 16% and 40%.

While imports on solar panels will amount to 30% in the first year, 25% in the second, and 20% in the third year.

The decision came after the independent U.S. International Trade Commision (ITC) determined that imports of solar panels and washers had hurt American companies. However, it should be noted that the U.S. President ignored an ITC recommendation to exclude washing machines produced in Mexico over the “excessive” move.

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