WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today applauded legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) that seeks to boost U.S. domestic solar manufacturing, accelerate the transition to clean energy, and support American energy independence. Specifically, the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act would provide tax credits for multiple stages of the solar supply chain, including modules, photovoltaic cells, and solar-grade polysilicon. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennett (D-CO), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) joined Ossoff in introducing the bill.
Under current law, Congress provides tax credits to consumers, a windfall to importers of solar products from Chinese manufacturers that are already subsidized by the Chinese government. Importantly, the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act moves away from that flawed system and instead supports the U.S. domestic production of key products along the solar supply chain. Earlier this year, CPA released a white paper that documents the current state of the U.S. solar manufacturing industry. The report also provided key recommendations for policymakers on how to counter Chinese dominance over the global supply chain that threatens U.S. energy independence and U.S. technology leadership in this critical industry of the future.
“To make President Biden’s call for one million new green jobs a reality, policymakers must emphasize the transition to and growth of domestic green industrial production with the same intensity and dedication that is given to achieving climate goals,” CPA Chair Zach Mottl said. “Thankfully, the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act does exactly that. Unless we want the U.S. to be dependent on China for solar capacity, we need Congress to support American manufacturers and workers. Passing this important piece of legislation would be a great start to supporting U.S. energy independence and clean energy jobs.”
In April, Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA, wrote an op-ed that outlined how “[s]tate-owned manufacturers in China currently dominate key sectors of the world’s solar supply chain” and called on President Joe Biden “to pursue green jobs with the same zeal as his climate goals.” In an industry analysis report, CPA documented why the federal government should capitalize on the huge demand for solar power by taking action to help the U.S. solar manufacturing industry rebuild capacity. Specifically, CPA called for a “program of tax credits for investing in solar manufacturing capacity throughout the supply chain” in order “to stimulate investment and ensure the U.S. regains the lead in this industry.”
“While tariffs on solar imports have allowed the U.S. solar industry to grow, long-term policies like the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act are needed to ensure the U.S. domestic solar manufacturing sector can compete against Chinese subsidized competitors,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Solar will play a key role in America’s transition to clean energy, but Congress must ensure that we are not supporting subsidized Chinese companies who use forced labor to meet climate goals. On behalf of CPA and our members, we applaud Senators Ossoff, Warnock, Bennett, and Stabenow for introducing this important piece of legislation to help ensure the future of U.S. solar capacity is powered by American workers and American manufacturing.”