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Canada asks to negotiate with the U.S. on solar import tariffs

Jan. 12, 2021

Canada hopes that its trading partner, the United States, will be exempted from tariffs on imported crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

The Canadian government has negotiated with the United States in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 31 of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

The Canadian side stated that the tariffs were"unfounded and clearly violated the rules and spirit of CUSMA".

The US government imposed an additional import tariff of 30% on crystalline silicon photovoltaic products in early 2018, which dropped to 25% in 2019 and 20% in 2020. Although Canada claims that products imported from Canada should be exempted under CUSMA, actual tariffs still exist.

Canada estimates that its exports of solar products to the United States have fallen by as much as 82% since the implementation of safeguard tariffs. This year should be the last year of safeguard measures, and tariffs are expected to be reduced to 18% instead of the originally planned 15%.

The Canadian Minister of Trade added: "If Canada and the United States cannot resolve this issue through negotiation, Canada may request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to determine the matter.”