Scott and Private Companies Pressure Biden to Revise Chinese Solar Panel Policy

Scott and Private Companies Pressure Biden to Revise Chinese Solar Panel Policy

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
April 26, 2024

President Joe Biden is facing increasing pressure from American solar panel manufacturers and conservative lawmakers to crack down on Chinese solar manufacturer’s alleged illicit trade practices. 

The American Alliance for Solar Manufacturing Trade Committee filed several petitions for the Biden Administration to investigate potential illegal Chinese subsidies and dumping.

The committee is made up of leading U.S. solar manufacturers from across the country (Convalt Energy, First Solar, Meyer Burger, Mission Solar, Qcells, REC Silicon, and Swift Solar).

Chinese solar panel parts have been subject to a series of tariffs. 

However, it was discovered Chinese companies were circumventing tariffs on solar cells and solar panels by shipping their products through Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The Biden administration subsequently gave the Chinese-owned solar manufacturers in such countries a two-year moratorium on the tariffs, during which they adjusted their supply chains. 

American solar companies allege that, thanks to the Biden moratorium and Chinese companies’ adjustment, they will now be able to circumvent the tariffs despite the moratorium expiring soon. 

“America’s solar manufacturing industry is on the cusp of tremendous growth that will create jobs and change the trajectory of our clean energy transition for decades to come” claimed Tim Brightbill, the American companies’ lead counsel. “However, this manufacturing renaissance is being threatened by China’s industrial policy, which has led to massive subsidization in China and Southeast Asia.” 

US Senator Rick Scott, who previously passed legislation to counter illicit Chinese sales of solar panel parts, joined American solar panel companies in their request for Biden to act on the issue. 

Biden, however, vetoed the legislation, alleging waivers to Chinese solar panel manufacturers ensure "we have a thriving solar installation industry ready to deploy American-made solar products to homes, businesses and communities across the nation."

Senator Scott claims American solar manufacturers’ latest petition is an opportunity for Biden to change course and impose tariffs. 

“After two years of allowing Communist Chinese companies to benefit off Biden’s weakness, the president has the opportunity to finally do the right thing and hold these companies accountable,” said Scott. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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