Build Back Beijing: Biden Waives Solar Panel Tariffs In Massive Win For China
President Joe Biden is set to use his executive authority Monday to issue a 24-month moratorium on solar panel tariffs designed to bolster U.S. industry.
Biden’s actions will pause enforcement of Obama-era anti-circumvention tariffs on solar panels and invoke the 1950 Defense Production Act (DPA) to boost domestic panel manufacturing, the White House announced. [bold, links added]
The president’s move came in response to complaints from the green energy industry and Democratic lawmakers that an active Commerce Department probe into Chinese companies’ alleged tariff violations was slowing the administration’s clean energy goals.
“It shows that the Biden administration policy, in this space, in particular, is Build Back Beijing,” Nick Iacovella, a spokesperson for the pro-tariff group Coalition for a Prosperous America, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
“There’s no other way to describe it. They haven’t done a single thing to support U.S. solar manufacturers.”
“All of this boils back down to — if you allow the Chinese to dump subsidized product in our market, it doesn’t matter,” he continued. “For our manufacturers, they’re not going to compete with subsidized products.”
He added that the White House didn’t consult any American solar companies before issuing the executive action Monday despite saying it would “spur domestic manufacturing, construction projects, and good-paying jobs.”
In late March, the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration initiated its investigation into Chinese solar manufacturers after California-based firm Auxin Solar presented evidence claiming the companies were routing panels destined for the U.S. through four southeast Asian nations to avoid duties introduced by the Obama administration.
Auxin Solar CEO Mamun Rashid previously told TheDCNF that the case was “existential” for his company.
Chinese solar panel makers produce more than 90% of the global supply of solar wafers, a key component in panels, according to a 2021 analysis from BloombergNEF.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), whose members include Chinese companies and U.S. companies reliant on cheap Chinese panels, and other green industry groups like the American Clean Power Association have raised the alarm about the probe, saying it would destroy the domestic solar industry.
The groups and their members have aggressively lobbied lawmakers to push back against the investigation in recent weeks.
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