Update: The U.S. State Department released a “U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration” on Friday, June 7, that said the countries have come to an agreement and the U.S. won’t implement tariffs for the time being. President Trump tweeted on June 10 that tariffs would still be a possibility if Mexico’s legislature doesn’t approve the deal.
The Trump administration announced on May 30 that it would impose a 5% tariff on all goods imported from Mexico starting on June 10, 2019, to force the country to take action on what it calls the “illegal migration crisis.”
“If the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico, to be determined in our sole discretion and judgment, the tariffs will be removed,” said a White House press release. However, if the administration believes satisfactory action is not taken, the tariffs will instead be raised to 10% on July 1 and keep increasing every month until they reach 25% on October 1. They will remain at that level if the administration still isn’t satisfied with Mexico’s action on immigration.
The new tariffs will affect solar manufacturing companies like Enphase. Enphase moved inverter manufacturing for the U.S. market from China to multinational technological manufacturer Flex in Mexico in Q2 2019 as part of a mitigation plan for the Section 301 tariff. Solar Power World reached out to Enphase for comment this morning but did not yet receive a response.
OutBack Solar also manufactures inverters in China and was considering moving operations to Flex Mexico as well. SPW also reached out to OutBack on the status of its mitigation plans and is awaiting comment.
Only one solar panel manufacturer has a major presence in Mexico: SunPower. Although the company is one of only a handful to receive a full exemption from the original 30% tariffs on any imported solar panels under Section 201, SunPower product coming from Mexico may be unable to avoid this new blanket tariff imposed by the Trump administration.
This story will be updated as more statements are made available.
Updated on June 10.