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Opinion: President puts America first with new tariffs on solar panels, washing machines

FILE- This April 20, 2011, file photo shows some of the 30,000 solar panels that make up the Public Service Company of New Mexico's new 2-megawatt photovoltaic array in Albuquerque, N.M. Some in the U.S. solar-power industry are hoping a decision this week by President Donald Trump doesn’t bring on an eclipse. Companies that install solar-power systems for homeowners and utilities are bracing for Trump’s call on whether to slap tariffs on imported panels. The solar business in the U.S. has boomed in recent years, driven by falling prices for panels, thanks in part to cheap imports. That has made solar power more competitive with electricity generated from coal and natural gas. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan,File)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - President Trump has announced strong actions that will protect the American economy.

Tariffs are being placed on solar equipment and on large washing machines, which are imported to the United States.

Thirty percent tariffs are being implement on foreign-made solar products. Those tariffs will be phased out after four years. Tariffs on large washing machines are being set between 20 percent and 50 percent. Those will expire after three years.

China is by far the largest producer of solar equipment in the world. Most American solar makers have either relocated or declared bankruptcy. That is due to the flood of cheaper goods from China.

As to washing machines, this trade action was requested by Whirlpool, an American company based in Michigan. Whirlpool has been facing crippling competition from South Korean makers such as LG and Samsung. These companies have moved their production around from country to country in order to keep their exports as cheap as possible.

These actions on trade will have multiple positive results. U.S. manufacturers will be able to stay competitive, therefore remaining in business and hiring more workers. Also, foreign makers will establish plants here in the US and make products in our country so they don't have to be subject to the trade tariffs.

Here is the bottom line: President Trump is sending two messages with these new tariffs. First, the American worker is going the protections that was promised throughout the campaign. Second, this tells our trading partners abroad that the president will continue to be tough, but also deliberate and nuanced, on trade.

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