UPDATE: SEIA and Stakeholders Urge Congress to Fight Repeal of Solar Tariff Moratorium


The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says more than 400 companies from across the solar value chain sent a letter to Congress warning against H.J.Res 39, which would repeal President Joe Biden’s solar tariff moratorium.

On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the measure, which will move to the House floor.

“The Ways and Means Committee just took a hammer to business certainty and American energy independence,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA.

President Biden had issued an executive action last June to pause new solar tariffs for two years in response to a near-complete shutdown of solar module supply in the U.S. caused by the Auxin Solar tariff investigation.

“Congress just passed historic clean energy legislation that is sparking a wave of project deployment and manufacturing investments, but passing this Congressional Review Act bill will undo much of this progress and have a devastating economic impact in communities across the country,” Hopper says. “The tariff pause provided business certainty that kept solar projects moving forward while providing a bridge for domestic manufacturing to grow. This deeply flawed use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) rips the rug out from underneath American businesses and will cause thousands of workers to lose their livelihoods.”

However, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., says H.J.Res 39 “is an important step to ensure the United States maintains crucial protections for American workers and our economy as a whole.”

“The U.S. Commerce Department determined that China is circumventing tariffs on imports by shipping solar products through Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam,” he says. “Since 2012, the United States has imposed higher tariffs on most solar imports from China to provide a level playing field for American manufacturers, and the Commerce Department determined that Chinese companies are shipping products through these four countries to avoid those very tariffs. This is further evidence of China’s ongoing trade abuses. American workers and consumers are being cheated by this behavior and deserve the Committee’s action today that protects them.

“Unfortunately, months before the Commerce Department’s determination, the White House made a misguided decision to remove the additional tariffs on Chinese solar products routed through those four countries, for the next two years,” Smith adds. “That has sent a signal that there will be less, not more accountability for unfair trade practices that have given China a dominant position in solar panel production despite longstanding American innovation in this sector.”

Analysis from SEIA shows that passing the CRA legislation will eliminate 30,000 American jobs, including 4,000 manufacturing jobs. It will cause the cancellation of 4 GW of solar project deployment in 2023 worth over $4.2 billion in investment. This lost deployment represents 14% of expected solar installations this year and will increase carbon emissions from the power sector by 24 million metric tons.

“This misguided resolution would stall America’s clean energy progress and put thousands of construction jobs at risk,” says George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Energy and chairman of SEIA’s board of directors. “The president’s action to provide business certainty with a pause on tariffs while the supply chain shifts, combined with the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, has enabled solar companies to hire more workers and greenlight projects while the U.S. scales up its manufacturing capacity here at home. Ending the two-year reprieve would effectively halt our momentum and undercut American growth in this industry. We need Congress to stand with solar job creators and reject this dangerous effort.”

“Since the announcement of the two-year pause on solar tariffs and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the development of American solar manufacturing facilities,” adds Chad Farrell, co-CEO and founder of Encore Renewable Energy. “The administration’s action provided our company with the certainty needed to continue to build solar projects while providing an important bridge for domestic manufacturing to scale.”

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