“The president’s announcement will rejuvenate the construction and domestic manufacturing of solar power by restoring predictability and business certainty that the Department of Commerce’s flawed inquiry has disrupted,” Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association and a former Obama administration official, said in a statement Monday.
President Joe Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act to increase U.S. manufacturing of solar panels while declaring a two-year tariff exemption on panels from Southeast Asia. He’s attempting to jumpstart an industry key to his climate change-fighting goals that advocates say has been disrupted by a federal investigation, AP reports.
The White House announced Monday that the moves are being implemented using executive actions and presidential proclamations. They follow months of complaints by industry groups, which argue that the solar sector is being slowed by supply chain problems due to an ongoing Commerce Department inquiry into possible trade violations involving Chinese products.
The Commerce Department announced in March that it was scrutinizing imports of solar panels from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia, concerned that products from those countries are skirting U.S. anti-dumping rules that limit imports from China.
White House officials said Biden’s actions aim to increase domestic production of solar panel parts, building installation materials, high-efficiency heat pumps and other components like cells used for clean-energy generated fuels. They called the tariff suspension affecting imports from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia a bridge measure while other efforts increase domestic solar power production — even as the administration remains supportive of U.S. trade laws and the Commerce Department investigation.
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