Dec. 9, 2021 update: The U.S. International Trade Commission issued its remedy recommendation to the president and suggests another four years of tariffs, dropping by 0.25% each year, along with a 2.5-GW annual TRQ on imported solar cells. President Biden now holds the final decision.
Today, the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended an extension of Section 201 global safeguard tariffs on solar cells and modules. President Biden now has discretion to take this recommendation into consideration and make a final decision.
In a bulletin, the USITC said the relief “continues to be necessary for U.S. industry producing crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products.”
The USITC held a virtual hearing on Nov. 3 where supporters and opponents of the tariffs shared their concerns. Bifacial solar panels remain exempt from the tariffs for now, after a Nov. 16 ruling by the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT).
Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA, issued the following statement on the USITC’s recommendations to President Biden:
“Four years of tariffs has proven to be an ineffective way to incentivize solar manufacturing and create American jobs. President Biden has made it clear that climate change is an existential threat and that we need to deploy as much clean energy as possible to address it. A new round of Trump-imposed safeguard tariffs will hamper U.S. solar development in their wake, and we hope President Biden sees the damage they will cause to his clean energy vision.
“Under the Section 201 tariffs, America lost out on 62,000 solar jobs, including a net-loss of 6,000 solar manufacturing jobs. SEIA remains committed to growing domestic manufacturing, but tariffs aren’t the answer. It’s time to enact real industrial policy, like Senator Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, to foster and grow the solar manufacturing sector here at home.
“We are urging President Biden to take a different approach from the previous administration and reject these tariffs. With sensible trade policy and the enactment of Build Back Better legislation, the solar industry will be well positioned to maximize deployment and create a domestic manufacturing supply chain to meet historic demand for clean energy.”
One company that filed an August petition to the ITC seeking to extend the tariffs for four additional years issued a statement of support for the decision.
“The ITC vote confirms what we have been saying for years — that U.S. solar manufacturing needs a runway to fully come back from a decade’s worth of predatory trade practices that have decimated the industry,” said Auxin Solar CEO Mamun Rashid in a statement. “We are grateful to the International Trade Commission for voting to extend safeguard protections, and we look forward to working with the Biden administration to ensure they understand just how critical this extension is to building an American solar supply chain that will create good-paying manufacturing jobs and ensure our energy independence from the Chinese Communist Party.”
“good-paying manufacturing jobs “??? Lol
I agree with SEIA as a Solar Installation Contractor in California for the last 14 years we have seen the solar “coaster” boom & bust years. The bust thanks in part to the Section 201 trade tariffs!
Extend the ITC to keep growing distributed nationally. Add additional incentives for Energy Storage. Go a step farther & mandate all new homes are net zero with energy efficiency & renewables.
The Green Economy is booming stop subsidizing coal & other fossil fuels just to keep a few small states happy. Pull everyone into the 21st century. Kicking & screaming if we have to. We all life on this rock called earth together let protect it before we can’t come back from the damage we have done.
“”Trade Commission for voting to extend safeguard protections, and we look forward to working with the Biden administration to ensure they understand just how critical this extension is to building an American solar supply chain that will create good-paying manufacturing jobs and ensure our energy independence from the Chinese Communist Party.””
Yeah, all of this rationalizing to the agenda is costing folks time and money. The Chinese still own the bulk of silicon foundries in the World so the supply chain excuse isn’t going to fly Mamun Rashid. One large facility in the U.S. state of Washington was built to use the cheapest energy available to run the manufacturing, hydro-electric generation. Yet, it has been claimed here in past articles REC can’t compete with China using cheap energy and produce an affordable supply chain of amorphous and crystalline silicon for Solar PV cells. Putting tariffs on goods from other countries will not protect REC or Auxin Solar in the marketplace. What it (might) do, is protect some 2,000 to 4,000 jobs and make solar PV more expensive to construct which will kill maybe 100,000 to 200,000 solar PV installation and auxiliary jobs. IF you’re going to create trillion-dollar tax plans, then you need as many employed to help pay those taxes, not save 4,000 tax paying jobs and throw away 100k to 200k tax paying jobs.
” “Under the Section 201 tariffs, America lost out on 62,000 solar jobs, including a net-loss of 6,000 solar manufacturing jobs. SEIA remains committed to growing domestic manufacturing, but tariffs aren’t the answer. It’s time to enact real industrial policy, like Senator Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, to foster and grow the solar manufacturing sector here at home.””
Now the ‘statistics’ have changed around 68k jobs lost and yet early on SEIA was saying 100k to 200k jobs lost. One thing is pretty clear, the supply chain didn’t magically appear during Trump’s administration, it still hasn’t appeared and is not likely to appear during Biden’s administration.