NBC News Confirms: Biden Sabotaged Commerce Investigation, “nobody will be punished.”
WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today issued a statement after the Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed to multiple U.S. domestic solar manufacturers that President Biden’s authorization to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of solar panels is an unfunded mandate. Until Congress explicitly appropriates additional funding for this purpose, the Biden administration cannot legally use the DPA to expand domestic production of solar panels.
On Monday, the Biden administration took unprecedented, and potentially illegal, action to sabotage the Department of Commerce’s investigation into whether Chinese solar manufacturers are illegally circumventing antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders. As NBC confirmed, regardless of what the Commerce Department finds in its investigation, “nobody will be punished.” Biden’s Solar 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.
Equally concerning, the Biden administration claims their DPA plan will only result in “up to 10 gigawatts (GW) over the next decade” — a minuscule goal that will do little to help U.S. solar manufacturers compete against China’s government subsidized solar firms that use forced labor. In 2021, the U.S. imported 24 GW of solar, meaning Biden’s DPA plan would support a maximum of only one (1) GW per year of total U.S. domestic solar manufacturing — less than five percent of imports.
Additionally, the Buy American Act (BAA) will have to be reformed by Congress or by Executive Order in order for domestic solar manufacturers to benefit from the DPA action. Currently, the federal government does not buy solar equipment, only energy via power purchase agreements (PPAs). The PPAs can be sourced from American companies to meet BAA requirements, but those companies are not required to use American-made equipment to generate that energy. This is a huge loophole that must be closed if the Biden administration is serious about using DPA to boost U.S. domestic solar manufacturing.
“Now we know that President Biden’s supposed DPA plan is nothing more than a hypothetical that will not and cannot happen unless Congress appropriates additional funding,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “As we learn more about this disastrous solar announcement, it is clear where the Biden administration’s priorities are: supporting Chinese manufacturers that use forced labor and dirty, coal-fired power plants and preventing U.S. energy independence. No president has ever interfered with an investigation by Commerce into illegal trade activity by foreign manufacturers, until now.”