CanREA Applauds the Government of Canada for Lifting American Tariffs on Canadian Solar Products

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July 8, 2022

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) applauds the Government of Canada’s work to successfully lift United States tariffs on Canadian solar products, as announced in a statement from Global Affairs Canada on July 7.

“The removal of these tariffs is wonderful news for Canada’s solar energy sector, and a major step forward for North American collaboration amid the ongoing clean energy transition,” said Robert Hornung, President and CEO of CanREA.  

“Empowering the renewable energy industry is integral to the fight against climate change,” Hornung said.  

Since the safeguard tariffs were introduced in early 2018 by former U.S. President Donald Trump, exports of solar products from Canada to the United States declined by as much as 82%. 

On Thursday, July 7, International Trade Minister Mary Ng announced that Canada had reached an agreement with the U.S. to remove the tariffs, which were found to be in violation of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) at a CUSMA dispute panel earlier this year.  

This agreement will bolster Canada’s renewable energy manufacturing sector, encouraging further investment and  strengthening Canada’s solar manufacturing capacity. 

“Through its years-long fight to successfully remove these tariffs, the federal government has shown it is willing to stand up for Canada’s solar sector and its workers,” said Nicholas Gall, Ontario Director at CanREA. 

“CanREA firmly believes that with the right trade policies in place, Canadian manufacturers can make an even greater contribution to serving the global supply chains that will power the clean energy transition,” Gall said. 

For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vison.” 

Background 

  • In 2018, the U.S. imposed a 30% tariff on solar cells, modules and panels from all countries, including Canada.   
  • Over the last four years, the federal government has fought for Canada to be excluded from the tariffs, seeking to resolve the dispute under CUSMA and the former NAFTA.  
  • Canada initiated the CUSMA dispute settlement process through a request for consultations on Dec. 22, 2020. A request for a panel was made on June 18, 2021. An in-person hearing was held before the panel in Washington, D.C., on November 10, 2021. 
  • In February 2022, Canada won the solar safeguard dispute. A CUSMA panel found the U.S. violated the international trade agreement by failing to exclude imports from Canada from its solar safeguard measure and impermissibly increasing tariffs on imports of solar products from Canada. 

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