Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Solar Panel Tariffs Will Test Biden’s Loyalty to Chinese & American Manufacturers

'The solar industry is literally trying to save the planet... '

The Biden administration will soon have to decide whether to appease China and climate change activists or to protect American manufacturing jobs.

Early next year, import tariffs on solar panels will expire.

Climate change activists want the Biden administration to let the tariffs lapse so that China can sell cheap solar panels in the United States.

American solar panel manufacturers, however, want Biden to extend the tariffs for four more years to maintain high solar panel prices and high wages for American companies and workers.

Biden has promised both to address climate change and to bring high-tech manufacturing back to the United States.

With the Biden family and administration’s deep investments in China, it seems unlikely that the president will extend the tariffs.

The climate change lobby asserts that its existential mission to save the Earth from destruction outweighs all other claims.

“The solar industry is literally trying to save the planet,” the Solar Energy Industries Association said to the Biden administration. “Tariffs only stand in the way by slowing growth of solar deployment and undermining efforts to replace fossil fuels with cleaner renewable energy.”

SEIA represents companies that install and operate solar panels, not solar panel manufacturers. American solar panel manufacturers have said that without continued tariffs, China will put them out of business.

Mark Widmar, CEO at American manufacturer First Solar, said that American companies cannot compete on a level playing field without import tariffs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“China heavily subsidizes whatever strategic industry it chooses to focus on. How does any American company ever compete?” he asked.

Other pro-manufacturing groups have stated that American solar industry needs more time to develop before tariffs can safely expire.

“We have to keep the tariffs to allow the domestic industry to get further scale and further capacity,” said Michael Stumo, chief executive of the Coalition for a Prosperous America.

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