Judge overturns Trump’s decision to stop tariff exemption for imported solar panels

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge who oversees trade issues on Tuesday overturned a decision by former President Donald Trump to allow the reintroduction of tariffs on some imported solar panels.

The decision of Judge Gary Katzmann of the US International Trade Court is a defeat for some domestic producers.

It came a year after he ruled that Trump’s October 2020 decision to revoke a tariff exemption for double-sided or bifacial solar panels was not in conflict with a previous court order.

Trump’s proclamation was a “clear misconception” of a law intended to liberalize trade, and “constituted an act outside the president’s delegated authority,” Katzmann wrote.

Shares of some U.S. solar panel manufacturers fell after the decision. In afternoon trading, First Solar Inc fell 8.6% while SunPower Corp fell 2%.

A trade group, the Solar Energy Industries Association and some developers had challenged Trump’s proclamation last December, accusing him of reintroducing tariffs without first going through the required procedures.

Bifacial technology is a small but growing part of the solar panel market that costs more but is capable of producing greater power than traditional panels.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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