Although President Joe Biden has passed both the House and Senate in recent weeks, he has vetoed HJ Res. 39, a measure that would have repealed the president’s two-year moratorium on solar tariffs.
“For too long, the United States has depended on China for solar energy products due to unfair trade practices and investments in domestic manufacturing,” Biden writes in his statement to the House. “We’ve been working to create good-paying jobs and build solar manufacturing facilities in the U.S. … But that generation won’t come online overnight.”
Biden says more than 50 new or expanded solar equipment manufacturing facilities have been announced since he took office, and the U.S. is “on track to install an eightfold increase in domestic solar panel manufacturing capacity” by the end of his first term.
In the meantime, however, tariffs on solar energy products would jeopardize the pace of building the U.S. solar industry, Biden argues.
“Passing this resolution works against American innovation. It would undermine those efforts and create deep uncertainty for American companies and solar workers,” the president states.
Industry stakeholders and trade groups have praised the president’s veto.
“The Ministry of Commerce’s solar energy tariff case effectively shut down the solar energy industry last spring, and the short-term tariff break was implemented strategically so that project development could continue and create a bridge to the future of domestic production,” says CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
“This strategy couldn’t have come at a better time, as the U.S. is experiencing an avalanche of solar manufacturing investment across the country,” he adds. “President Biden’s veto has helped preserve our nation’s clean energy development and prevented a bill from becoming law that would have eliminated 30,000 American jobs, including 4,000 solar manufacturing jobs.”
American Clean Power Association CEO Jason Grumet echoes sentiments about “misleading, job-killing legislation.”
“Our nation’s solar industry has already announced billions of dollars in investment to build a strong and sustainable domestic solar supply chain. Imposing retroactive punitive tariffs — which would have been paid by U.S. companies and workers — would have jeopardized those investments,” he says.