Tag: Jobs and Economy

Trump imposes harsh tariffs on imported washers & solar panels

President Trump adds another campaign promise to the giant heap of winning, imposing harsh tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels on Monday, marking his first moves to erect trade restrictions under seldom-used trade laws that allow unilateral actions.

The decisions in the two “Section 201” safeguard cases followed findings by the U.S. International Trade Commission that both imported products “are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

The washer tariffs exceeded the harshest recommendations from ITC members, while the solar tariffs were lower than domestic producers had hoped for.

President Trump will impose a 20 percent tariff on the first 1.2 million imported large residential washers in the first year, and a 50 percent tariff on machines above that number. The tariffs decline to 16 percent and 40 percent respectively in the third year.

A 30 percent tariff will be imposed on imported solar cells and modules in the first year, with the tariffs declining to 15 percent by the fourth year. The tariff allows 2.5 gigawatts of unassembled solar cells to be imported tariff-free in each year.

Whirlpool Corp, which brought the washers “safeguard” case against rivals Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics after years of anti-dumping cases, stands to benefit from the decision.

“This announcement caps nearly a decade of litigation and will result in new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee,” Whirlpool Chairman Jeff Fettig said in a statement.

“By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American workers will compete on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts.”

The decisions were the first of several potential tariff actions that Trump may take in the coming weeks and months. He is considering recommendations on import restrictions for steel and aluminum on national security grounds under a 1962 trade law and tariffs or other trade sanctions against China over its intellectual property practices.

The intellectual property, washer and solar panel probes were done under a 1974 trade law that has been seldom invoked since the World Trade Organization was launched in 1995.

The domestic solar panel producers who sought the trade remedies wanted tariffs of 50 percent – the highest allowed under law. Petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld have said they cannot compete with the influx of cheap imports, mostly from China.

Solar panel prices have dropped more than 30 percent since early 2016, benefiting buyers but harming producers across the globe.

Suniva, applauded the decision, saying:

“Over the last 5 years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed. Today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight.”

Under President Trump, Americans Are Getting Back To Work

From The Office of The White House

AMERICA’S ECONOMY IS FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS:

President Donald J. Trump has unleashed America’s economic growth engine and ushered in a new era of economic optimism.

• Under President Trump, nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been created.

• 159,000 jobs have been created in the manufacturing industry.

• 57,000 jobs have been created in the mining and logging industries.

• The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years.

• Thirteen States have reached record low unemployment rates.

• Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States has grown by more than 3 percent in the last two quarters.

• The GDP growth rate was 3.3 percent in the third quarter of this year.

• The GDP growth rate was 3.1 percent in the second quarter of this year.

• Productivity in the United States economy grew to 3 percent last quarter.

• Americans’ confidence in the economy has soared to record highs under President Trump.

• The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index reached a 17-year high in November.

• The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Index had the highest annual average it has ever recorded.

• The Dow Jones Industrial Average has hit record highs 70 times in 2017—the most ever recorded in one year.

• For the first time in its history, the Dow closed higher than 24,000 points.

• Since President Trump was elected, more than $5 trillion in wealth has been added to the United States economy.

HARD AT WORK:

The Department of Labor has implemented pro-growth programs, rolled back overreaching regulations, and taken action to support American workers.

• The Department of Labor has convened a Task Force on Expanding Apprenticeships, which will work to create more opportunities for American job seekers and job creators.

• The 20-person task force brings together leaders from business, labor unions, educational institutions, and trade groups to advise the Administration on how to expand the number and breadth of apprenticeships.

• Following President Trump’s Executive Orders on regulatory reform, the Department of Labor is working to identify regulations that place an undue burden on employers with minimal impact on worker protections.

• The Department of Labor is actively involved in the process of renegotiating and improving the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.

• Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has directed the Department to aggressively confront visa fraud and abuse.