President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE predicted that the tariffs he is imposing on imported solar panels and residential washing machines will lead to new jobs for American workers.
“You’re going to have people getting jobs again and we’re going to be making our own product again,” Trump said at a White House signing event for the tariffs.
“We’re going to benefit our consumers and we're going to create a lot of jobs,” he said. “Our action today helps to create jobs in America for Americans. It will provide a strong incentive for LG and Samsung to follow through on their recent promises to build major manufacturing plants for washing machines right here in the United States,” Trump said, referring to two companies that import washers and other appliances.
“Our action today helps to create jobs in America for Americans,” he said.“A lot of manufacturers will be coming to the United States to build both washing machines and also solar.”
At the brief ceremony, Trump also predicted the tariffs will not cause any trade wars with countries angry over the new penalties.
“There won't be a trade war, by the way,” he said. "There will only be stock increases for the companies that are in this country. And that’s what happened today, if you look at solar and if you look at the washing machine companies, that’s really what happened today.”
Many companies that make solar panels and washers saw their stock prices rise after the late Monday announcement. But other companies, like those that install solar panels or import washers to sell, predict they’ll have to cut jobs because of the price increases.
Trump said the new tariffs “uphold a principle of fair trade and demonstrate to the world that the United States will not be taken advantage of anymore.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association opposes the tariffs and said they threaten 23,000 jobs.
“While tariffs in this case will not create adequate cell or module manufacturing to meet U.S. demand, or keep foreign-owned Suniva and SolarWorld afloat, they 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,” Abigail Ross Hopper, the group’s president, said in a statement, referring to the two bankrupt companies that asked for the solar tariffs.
“Consumers should be the ones to decide what washers they want to buy based upon their own preferences, not because of unjustified trade penalties imposed on products by the U.S. government,” said LG Electronics USA, a unit of South Korea’s LG Corp.
Trump announced the new tariffs Monday. They’re meant to help domestic manufacturing by imposing surcharges of 30 percent on imported solar panel technology and 20 percent on washers, decreasing each year for four years before phasing out completely.
It’s the first major unilateral trade action Trump has taken since taking office, following a campaign and a first year as president promising to crack down on what he sees as unfair trade practices from China and elsewhere.
Some Republican lawmakers and conservative groups have criticized the tariffs, saying Trump is abandoning free trade principles.
“Here's something Republicans used to understand: Tariffs are taxes on families,” Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseSinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Democrats outraged after Manchin opposes Biden spending bill Senate confirms Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan MORE (R-Neb.) said in a statement.
“Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this — not big companies. You don't fix eight years of bad energy policy with bad trade policy,” he said.