CPA Welcomes End of Harmful Solar Tariff Moratorium

CPA Welcomes End of Harmful Solar Tariff Moratorium

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today released a statement marking the termination of the Biden administration’s unprecedented, harmful Solar Emergency Declaration. Biden’s 24-month tariff moratorium protected Chinese solar manufacturers, which enabled those firms to continue illegally circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) despite the U.S. Commerce Department investigation confirming China’s violations. Last year, President Biden vetoed bipartisan, bicameral legislation that passed the House and Senate to repeal this harmful rule.

As a result of the tariff moratorium, China has overproduced and dumped product into the U.S. market, threatening investment and job creation in the U.S. solar manufacturing industry. As the moratorium ends, the Department of Commerce requires that panels imported duty-free during the moratorium must be installed within 180 days to prevent stockpiling. Otherwise tariffs will be imposed retroactively. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will vigorously enforce this provision, including by requiring importers to provide to CBP a certification of solar module utilization with detailed information about the modules being deployed. 

“The administration’s unprecedented tariff moratorium was a gift to the CCP and its dirty coal, forced labor solar industry,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Never again should an administration negate  U.S. law to give China—the greatest geopolitical and military threat to our nation—a free pass to destroy any part of our industrial base. The Biden administration should now go further and prevent those same Chinese companies—who have set up assembly plants in Ohio, Texas, and other states—from being subsidized by U.S. taxpayers through the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Last month, CPA applauded a range of new actions by the Biden administration to strengthen the U.S. solar manufacturing industry and counter China’s illegal, predatory trade activity, including a commitment that the Biden administration’s harmful solar tariff moratorium will not be extended. The actions also included removing the bifacial exclusion under the Section 201 solar safeguard tariffs, a move that CPA has long-called for.

These actions came just one day after the Biden administration formally initiated a review of the petitions filed by seven major U.S. solar manufacturers to investigate potentially illegal trade practices by Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam that are injuring the U.S. solar industry. The solar trade case comes on the heels of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s recent remarks that “China’s overcapacity distorts global prices and production patterns and hurts American firms and workers.” 

Chinese-owned companies’ global market share in solar products is more than 80 percent. The current environment, if left unaddressed, threatens America’s ambitions of building a domestic solar manufacturing supply chain and mitigating the risk of an overreliance on Chinese solar. A recent analysis by the CPA Economics Team warned that the U.S. solar industry is being threatened by China’s overcapacity and that China’s solar companies are surviving on CCP subsidies.

Yesterday, CPA applauded letters from the Senate and House supporting the solar trade case against China.

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