CPA Applauds Bipartisan Ways and Means Committee Vote on Solar CRA

Bill Now Heads to Full House Floor

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today released a statement after the House Ways and Means Committee, in a bipartisan vote of 26–13, passed legislation (H.J. Res 39) introduced by U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Dan Kildee (D-MI) that will repeal President Biden’s Solar Emergency Declaration, issued last June. The Solar CRA now heads to the full House of Representatives for a vote. CPA will be key voting the vote on the House floor and including it in its legislative scorecard.

The Solar Emergency Declaration is a harmful rule that protects Chinese solar manufacturers from facing tariffs until June 2024 despite a recent determination by the U.S. Commerce Department that Chinese solar manufacturers have been illegally avoiding tariffs. Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress can repeal rules enacted by the executive branch if they were enacted within 60 legislative days of the end of the last legislative session. 

A new poll of likely voters, conducted by Morning Consult for the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA), shows 80% of likely voters, including 76% of Democrats and 77% of Independents, are concerned that the Solar Emergency Declaration protects Chinese solar manufacturers who are illegally avoiding tariffs. Additionally, a significant majority (62%) of likely voters, including 61% of Democrats and 55% of Independents, support Congress passing the bipartisan Solar CRA.

“Today’s strong, bipartisan vote in the Ways and Means Committee was a win for American workers, American manufacturers, and the rule of law,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Under the leadership of Chairman Jason Smith, CPA and our members applaud the Committee for prioritizing the robust enforcement of U.S. trade law and holding China accountable for its continued illegal trade activity that directly harms American workers and U.S. domestic producers. We applaud Democrats and Republicans for recognizing that the Solar Emergency Declaration, which provides a get out of jail free card to China, was a serious misstep by the Biden administration. As the Solar CRA heads to the House floor next week, we will be watching closely to see which side lawmakers are on: the side of American workers or China.”

Biden’s Solar Emergency Declaration came after intense lobbying by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade association that was exposed as a front for Chinese solar manufacturers and whose members have been implicated in the use of forced labor in Xinjiang.Earlier this year, the Commerce Department announced it was investigating three of SEIA’s Chinese members for illegal trade activity. As The American Prospect reported, “SEIA’s membership includes U.S. subsidiaries of Chinese producers JinkoSolar, JA Solar, Trina Solar, BYD, and LONGi Solar, which are the dominant solar component manufacturers in the world.”

The Morning Consult poll found that an overwhelming majority (76%) of likely voters support requiring U.S. trade associations, like SEIA, to publicly disclose their relationships with Chinese companies and their U.S. subsidiaries. Additionally, 85% of likely voters are concerned that forced labor is used in China’s solar panel manufacturing supply chain.

Last month, a study by Cornell University researchers confirmed that reshoring the solar supply chain and boosting domestic solar manufacturing would significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. “If reshored PV manufacturing is achieved by 2035, the estimated GHG emissions and energy consumption from panel production would be 30% and 13% lower, respectively, than having relied on trading partners as in 2020,” the report states. “If the reshored manufacturing target is met by 2050, the climate impacts and energy use would then be reduced by 33% and 17%.”

As NBC recently reported, “research from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air and GEM published late last month showed China approved the highest number of new coal-fired plants since 2015 last year.” Incredibly, “Beijing authorized 106 gigawatts of new coal power capacity in 2022, four times higher than a year earlier and the equivalent of 100 large-fired power plants, the research said.”

The Morning Consult poll found that 64% of likely voters are opposed to continuing to import solar products into the U.S. that are made from coal-fired power plants in China or Chinese-controlled factories in Southeast Asia due to China’s massive construction of coal power to support its solar manufacturing supply chain.



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