Biden suspends tariffs on solar panels from Southeast Asia amid measures to boost supplies to US manufacturers
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President Biden on Monday authorized emergency measures to boost supplies for the American solar power industry in an effort to address his climate change-fighting goals and fight escalating costs.
To that end, the White House announced a two-year pause in tariffs on solar panels from Southeast Asia amid complaints by industry groups that the solar sector is being slowed by supply chain problems and a Commerce Department inquiry into possible trade violations involving Chinese products.
"Roughly half of the domestic deployment of solar modules that had been anticipated over the next year is currently in jeopardy as a result of insufficient supply," the announcement said. "Across the country, solar projects are being postponed or canceled."
The Commerce Department announced in March that it was scrutinizing imports of solar panels from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia, concerned that products from those countries are skirting U.S. anti-dumping rules that limit imports from China.
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"As we invest in expanding domestic solar manufacturing and strengthening supply chains to protect our long-term energy security, imported solar panels remain an important component to addressing the immediate demands of bringing additional energy sources online and addressing the energy needs of the American people," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.
The aim is to increase domestic production of solar panel parts building installation materials, high-efficiency heat pumps and other components including cells used for clean-energy generated fuels. They called the tariff suspension affecting imports from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia a bridge measure while other efforts increase domestic solar power production.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked Monday if the pause in tariffs was not a gift to China.
"Today's announcement is about one country & one county alone & it's the United States," she said."He is putting the full force of the federal government behind supporting American clean energy producers," she said.