Donald Trump rages against South Korean washing machines

Updated: Jan 24, 2018, 15:56 IST | Agencies

In bid to protect American market hit by Chinese, South Korean products, POTUS slaps high tariffs on import of solar cells and washing machines

The move is in line with President Trump's "America First" trade policy. Pic/AFP
The move is in line with President Trump's "America First" trade policy. Pic/AFP

President Donald Trump has slapped high tariffs on import of solar cells and washing machines to protect the American market badly hit by products from countries like China and South Korea. The move is in line with President Trump's "America First" trade policy.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) made the recommendations to the President based on consultations with the inter agency Trade Policy Committee (TPC) in response to findings by the independent, bipartisan US International Trade Commission (ITC) that increased imports of washers and solar cells and modules are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers.

A spokesman said the administration would "always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers and businessmen". USTR Robert Lighthizer said, "The ITC found that US producers had been seriously injured by imports and made several recommendations to the President," he said.

The relief will include a tariff of 30 per cent in the first year, 25 per cent in the second year, 20 per cent in the third year, and 15 per cent in the fourth year. Additionally, the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the safeguard tariff in each of those four years, USTR said.

China and South Korea miffed
China and South Korea have reacted angrily to the news. South Korea said it would complain to the World Trade Organization, calling the tariffs "excessive" and "regret-table". Its manufacturers, including Samsung and LG, compete in the washing machine market with US firms such as Whirlpool. China, the world's biggest solar panel manufacturer, said the move would further damage the global trade environment.

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