Biden issues third veto, this time targets bipartisan solar tariffs bill

Biden issues third veto, this time targets bipartisan solar tariffs bill

by Christian Datoc

May 16, 2023 12:59 PM

President Joe Biden issued his third veto Tuesday, sending back to Congress a bill that would end the temporary suspension of tariffs on solar panels and components from some Asian countries.

The bill, titled “Procedures Covering Suspension of Liquidation, Duties, and Estimated Duties in Accord with Presidential Proclamation 10414,” would undo an emergency waiver Biden issued in the summer of 2022.

Nine Democratic Senators — Tammy Baldwin (WI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Bob Casey ¶, John Fetterman ¶, Joe Manchin (WV), Gary Peters (MI), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Jon Tester (MT), and Ron Wyden (OR) — voted with Republicans to pass the bill in early May.

Biden’s waiver protected certain Asian solar energy companies from anti-dumping and countervailing duties for two years, at which point the president claimed domestic manufacturing would scale up to meet both current demand and his 10-year green transition goals.

The Biden administration had simultaneously warned that some Chinese companies are seeking to bypass existing U.S. tariffs and import bans by selling components to solar companies in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, which then export products to the United States.

“For too long, because of unfair trade practices and underinvestment in domestic manufacturing, the United States has been reliant on China for solar energy products. From day one, my administration has bet on America to create a strong solar supply chain. We have worked to create good-paying jobs and build manufacturing facilities in the United States for solar energy and other important global industries — and our plan is working,” Biden wrote in his veto statement delivered to Congress.

"America is now on track to increase domestic solar panel manufacturing capacity eight-fold by the end of my first term. But that production will not come online overnight. The Department of Commerce’s rule supports American businesses and workers in the solar industry and helps provide sufficient, clean, and reliable electricity to American families, while continuing to hold our trading partners accountable.

“The rule implements a temporary, 24-month bridge to make sure that when these new factories are operational, we have a thriving solar installation industry ready to deploy American-made solar products to homes, businesses, and communities across the nation. Given the progress we are making on American solar, I do not intend to extend the tariff suspension at the conclusion of the 2-year period in June 2024,” the president continued. “Passage of this resolution bets against American innovation. It would undermine these efforts and create deep uncertainty for American businesses and workers in the solar industry.”

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