U.S. removing tariffs on Canadian solar panels, as USMCA trade reps meet in Vancouver

Solar panels at the construction site of Canada’s largest solar farm Travers Solar, near Vulcan, Alberta, November 9, 2021.Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

Canada and the United States have reached an agreement to remove US tariffs on solar products made in Canada.

International Trade Minister Mary Ng said the agreement reflects a shared commitment to tackling climate change and developing renewable energy.

Ng meets with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Mexican Economy Secretary Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo in Vancouver during the Free Trade Commission meeting.

The tariffs were imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018, and the Canadian government said exports of solar products to the United States have fallen by 82% since then.

In February, a dispute settlement panel concluded that by keeping Canadian exports subject to its so-called “safeguard measures”, the United States violated its obligations under the United States-Mexico- Canada.

Ng also says she will raise the issue of softwood lumber negotiations during a bilateral meeting with Tai.

“The way forward is to find a solution with the United States,” she said.

Both agreed that this is a significant problem, but it’s unclear what this possible solution will look like. Tai reiterated his support for the industry.

“Our priority is to ensure that American softwood lumber producers can compete on a level playing field,” Tai said. “Subsidized lumber and dumped imports undermine their ability to compete fairly.”

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