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Biden Imposes Tariffs, Ends Exemptions to Boost US Solar Industry

The Biden administration has announced new measures to strengthen the domestic solar manufacturing industry and reduce reliance on Chinese imports. They will end exemptions for certain solar imports and impose tariffs on solar products from four Asian countries. The administration claims these actions are part of a broader effort to boost domestic manufacturing and crack down on unfair trade practices by China. They also argue that these measures will support the resiliency and robustness of the global supply chain.

These actions follow the authorization of billions of dollars in clean energy and climate spending under the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The administration asserts that these investments have led to a significant expansion in U.S. manufacturing capacity in the clean energy sector. They claim that ending exclusions for certain solar imports and imposing tariffs on products from Asian countries will further strengthen domestic manufacturing and supply chains.

The Biden administration has also recently increased tariffs on various Chinese-made clean energy products, including electric vehicles, batteries, steel and aluminum products, and semiconductors. In particular, President Biden directed the U.S. Trade Representative to double the tariffs on Chinese-made solar wafer, cell, and module imports.

The administration aims to end the exclusion of bifacial solar panels from tariffs and remove the bifacial module exclusion from Section 301 tariffs. Additionally, they will lift the 24-month pause on tariffs on solar cell and module imports from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. These measures are justified as a means to create a level playing field for U.S. solar manufacturers and to reduce reliance on cheap imports while domestic manufacturing ramps up.

According to the White House, the U.S. solar manufacturing sector has seen significant investment and growth since President Biden took office. They claim that more than $17 billion and 335 gigawatts of manufacturing investment have been announced in the solar supply chain, with enough planned investment for solar modules to power 18 million homes. Solar deployment has also reportedly doubled during President Biden’s first term, with a record high of 32.4 GW of new capacity installed in 2023, representing a 50% increase.

In summary, the Biden administration’s actions to end exemptions for certain solar imports and impose tariffs on products from Asian countries are part of a broader effort to boost domestic manufacturing and reduce reliance on China for clean energy technology. They claim these measures will strengthen the global supply chain and support the growth of the U.S. solar industry.

Written by Staff Reports

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