Urges Biden Administration to Robustly Enforce U.S. Trade Policy
WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today applauded an announcement by First Solar, the largest American solar manufacturer, that it plans to invest up to $1.2 billion in scaling production of American-made, responsibly-produced photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, First Solar’s planned investment is forecast to expand the company’s ability to produce American-made solar modules for the U.S. solar market to over 10 gigawatts (GW)DC by 2025.
The announcement comes just weeks after President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which included a CPA-backed provision that reduces U.S. reliance on China by providing refundable production tax credits for the domestic solar manufacturing supply chain, including modules, photovoltaic cells, and solar-grade polysilicon. It also comes after the Biden administration sided with China’s government-subsidized solar manufacturers that use forced labor and coal-fired power plants over U.S. solar manufacturers and American workers on trade issues, including its decision to gut the Section 201 solar safeguard tariffs.
Earlier this year, the White House sabotaged the Department of Commerce’s investigation into whether Chinese solar manufacturers are illegally circumventing antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders. Instead of supporting robust enforcement of U.S. trade laws, the emergency declaration gives Chinese manufacturers a free pass to illegally circumvent AD/CVD orders for the next 24 months and protects them from retroactive duties — regardless of what the Commerce Department finds in its investigation.
“First Solar’s announcement is clear evidence that domestic production tax credits—which CPA has long called for—are a critical industrial policy tool to boost domestic manufacturing and reshore supply chains,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “This new investment will create and support tens of thousands of high-quality jobs right here in America. However, Washington must realize that tariffs, trade law enforcement, and exchange rate management are essential tools in the industrial strategy toolbox. We must deny China’s subsidized, dirty coal and forced labor solar goods the benefit of our consumer market. Without it, China can continue to undercut the benefits of the solar domestic production tax credit and jeopardize efforts to reshore manufacturing and supply chains in industries that are critical to U.S. economic and national security.”