Recently, some American media said that the energy storage market will become the latest impact area of the Trump trade war. As we know, Trump's tariff on some Chinese goods was postponed until December 15. These products include "mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing."The announcement in the US Trade Representative Office also revealed that certain products will be removed from the tariff list and will not face an additional tariff of 10% according to health, safety, national security and other factors.
However, lithium-ion batteries are not included in the deferred taxation and have not been removed from the list. That is to say, lithium-ion batteries still have to be imposed a 10% tariff by US government since September 1st.
The US media said that tariffs on solar cells, solar panels, inverters, steel, photovoltaic modules, aluminum frames almost affect every aspects of USA solar supply chain. Nowadays, batteries are also included, more specifically, lithium-ion batteries, other types of batteries are included in the previous tax list. China's battery manufacturing influences many countries around the world. Data shows that China accounts for two-thirds of the world's production capacity last year. These products are used for energy storage in the electric vehicle and power industries.
In June of this year, Kelly Speakes Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association (ESA), issued a statement warning that tariff on Chinese batteries would have an “immediate and negative” impact on energy storage deployment: Adding tariffs will hinder US battery growth and job creation, because energy storage projects will be postponed or cancelled. Demand for clean energy is rising across the US, however, rising costs of battery and other uncertainties caused by tariffs will become obstacles.
Lithium-ion batteries are also used in electric vehicles, may also have an impact on the electric vehicle market.
US manufacturers have not been spared
In conclusion, increasing tariffs on China lithium-ion batteries will lead to a competitive advantage of US battery manufacturer such as Tesla. After all, the US battery industry has been seeking development and breakthroughs, trying to break the monopoly of Asia. However, the European Space Agency pointed out that the previous Section 301 also imposed tariffs on imports of lithium, cobalt and graphite. It is important to know that lithium, cobalt and graphite are the main raw materials for lithium-ion batteries. China supplies most of the world's chemical lithium and cobalt and all spherical graphite. Trump's move hinders the subsequent development of some battery companies at source.