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Joe Biden, the United States President, is eliminating tariffs on solar panel imports from Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand. According to the White House, this was done “To ensure that the United States has enough modules to meet its electricity generation needs while domestic production ramps up.”
The tariffs on solar panels imported from four Southeast Asian countries will be suspended for two years as part of efforts to address “the urgent problem of a changing climate.” However, China was not included in the agreement.
In December, the Biden Admin used the Uighur Forced Labour Prevention Act to slow down China’s imports. It claimed that Uighurs and children were involved in Polysilicon manufacturing by many Chinese firms from Xinjiangang.
In order to speed up production in the United States, the administration used the Defence Manufacture Act. Federal agency procurements will increase demand. The DPA directive targets domestic products such as building insulation, heat pumps, and fuel cells.
According to the White House, these initiatives will encourage American manufacturing, construction projects, and good-paying job opportunities. They will also lower energy prices for families, strengthen our grid and address climate change and other environmental injustices.
Donald Trump, Biden’s predecessor, imposed taxes on all solar panel imports in 2017. This was primarily a Chinese-related action and was the precursor to Trump’s larger trade war with Beijing which began in July 2018.
The US International Trade Commission announced the tariffs in September 2017. It pointed out that large amounts of solar panels are being imported to the United States and that this will severely harm the country’s manufacturing industry.
Abigail Ross also stated, “We are certain that a review will provide a negative conclusion.” This industry-deadly investigation is now over. The president’s actions are a welcome break. Our members’ efforts to record the urgency and present statistics on the adverse consequences were crucial to the effort to raise awareness. That may be the SEIA view. However, the reality is that the two-year reprieve is driven more primarily by practical considerations about the impact on US solar power than any undiscovered truth about South East Asian manufacturers.
The trade association for the solar industry conducted a survey in April and found that 83% of respondents experienced delays or cancellations to their panel’s orders due to the probe.
These alleged supply disruptions are threatening Biden’s ability to achieve his goal of increasing US solar power capacity by 22.5 gigawatts in 2024, which he set out in a recent statement.
According to a separate, but related White House notification on Monday, approximately three-quarters of US solar panel imports were from Southeast Asian producers.