Friday Dec 09, 2022

Rubio Joins Bipartisan Colleagues In Urging President Biden To Renew Safeguard Tariffs On Solar Panels Manufactured In China – Senator Marco Rubio


Washington, D.C. —  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) in sending a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to heed the unanimous recommendation of the International Trade Commission (ITC) and extend the Section 201 safeguard tariffs on Chinese-manufactured solar panels for another four years. 
In May 2017, U.S. solar panel manufacturers filed a Section 201 safeguard petition with the ITC, seeking global tariffs in response to surges of solar panels, particularly from China. The ITC unanimously found that surging imports had injured U.S. solar panel producers. In January 2018, President Trump concurred with the ITC recommendation to impose a four year safeguard measure on foreign solar panels. With the safeguard set to expire, and the ITC recommending the renewal of safeguard tariffs, it is up to the Biden Administration to extend the tariffs for another four years to protect American solar panel manufacturers. In the letter, the senators noted that it is vital for the extended safeguard to apply to bifacial solar modules, which are currently not subject to the current tariff regime. The importation of Chinese-manufactured bifacial solar panels is also causing serious harm to domestic solar manufacturers.
“American solar manufacturing should be a key part of the clean energy economy, but despite the United States leading the world in solar research and development, China’s exploitative industrial and trade practices continue to hinder the growth of a strong U.S. solar supply chain,” the senators wrote. “We can only build that capacity if our trade laws are utilized and enforced to the fullest extent possible. Doing so will support American workers and businesses, promote fair trade, minimize the environmental impacts of solar manufacturing and reduce global supply chain reliance on forced labor.”
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear President Biden:
We write in support of extending, for four years, the safeguard duties imposed on imported solar products pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, and applying the extended duties to imported bifacial solar products. We urge you to consider the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) unanimous recommendation that Section 201 relief should be extended so that the domestic solar industry can complete a positive adjustment to import competition and avoid further serious injury. It is in our national interest to support American workers whose jobs are threatened by surging imports, many of which are traded unfairly by China.
According to the ITC, the current Section 201 duties have been an essential safeguard measure, helping our domestic industry expand and upgrade production and create new jobs. In fact, the United States has set records for solar deployment every year that the safeguard measures have been in place; deployment in 2019 exceeded deployment in 2018 by 23 percent, and 2020 set a new record for solar installations.
We are pleased to see that the safeguard is working; however, the goal of the safeguard is to provide the time and space for our domestic solar industry to get back on its feet, and achieving this goal will require additional time. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued exclusion for bifacial solar panels, the domestic industry and its workers continue to reel from import pressure. As you consider whether to extend the solar safeguard, we urge you to extend the duties imposed on imported solar panels for four years, noting that the ITC makes clear: “an extension of less than four years would not appear sufficient for …….


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