OTTAWA/WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) – The United States has agreed to lift tariffs on Canadian solar products after a trade dispute settlement panel sided with Ottawa earlier this year, said Canadian Commerce Minister Mary Ng and the office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

Canada, arguing that the tariffs violated the terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), had sought the help of a dispute settlement panel last year.

In February, Canada said the panel had confirmed the tariffs were “unjustified and in breach” of the trade pact. The United States also said it had prevailed over certain aspects of the panel’s decision. Read more

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Washington and Ottawa have engaged in talks to resolve the dispute since then.

“Today I welcomed the agreement reached with the United States to remove U.S. safeguard tariffs on solar products from Canada,” Ng said in a statement Thursday.

“The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) also contains a mechanism to ensure that imports of solar products from Canada do not undermine the existing U.S. safeguard measure on imports of solar products,” the office said. from Tai in a separate statement.

Ng said the United States and Canada “share goals and commitments to address climate change” and that removing tariffs would “bring stability and predictability to our renewable energy sector and strengthen North American competitiveness.” .

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has made tackling climate change one of its top priorities and committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump first imposed “Section 201” safeguard tariffs on imported solar panels and cells in January 2018, but did not exempt Canada and Mexico from those duties. USMCA terms eliminate most tariffs between North American partners.

US President Joe Biden extended tariffs for four years in February, but in a major concession to installers, he eased the terms to exclude a dominant panel technology among major US projects. Read more

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Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa and Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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