U.S. to impose tariffs on Samsung, LG washing machines

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After imposing tariffs opposed by much of the US solar industry, the Trump administration is offering a $3 million prize to revive domestic solar manufacturing.

South Korean solar panel makers exported 1.3 billion US dollars of solar cells and modules to the United States in the same year, ranking third in the USA market.

LG said on Tuesday it was disappointed by the move and called it a "misguided decision".

Georgia ranks 9th in solar capacity nationwide and employs 3,000 people in the industry.

On solar panels, the tariffs in the first year will be 30%, falling to 15% by the fourth year.

The last five years have seen the solar industry emerge stronger, with 1.6 million solar installations in the United States by the end of 2017, which accounted for 1.8% of all electricity countrywide. Shiao also expects an 11 percent reduction in solar installations over the next five years because of the tariffs.

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However, many solar companies, like Sun Tribe Solar in Charlottesville, feel it will do the opposite.

The duties are the latest step by Trump that undermine the economics of US renewable energy, but they're unlikely to raise costs of imported equipment far beyond recent levels. "And China's economy is not as large as the U.S.'s yet".

"It's like any other product, if they want an LG machine, they'll pay for it", said Jon Abt, co-president of Abt Electronics, who said he expects consumers will see prices increase by about $50. Supporters of trade barriers say they will protect domestic industries from harmful overseas competition.

In the fourth quarter, the company accounted for 18% of US retail sales of washers, as measured in dollars, in the fourth quarter, according to TraQline market data provided by the research firm Stevenson Co.

The decision, will "create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving, which will ultimately cost tens of thousands of hard-working blue-collar Americans their jobs", said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and chief executive officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association, in a statement. There will be no winners, but only losers because the tariffs are detrimental not only to foreign manufacturers, but also to US industries, workers and consumers. "Half of any increase in system costs will be offset through the tax code via the Investment Tax Credit and depreciation".

"Consumption accounts for 70 percent of the US economy, while in China it only accounts for 30 percent", he said.

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