On Monday, the White House announced that President Biden would veto bipartisan legislation that would reverse a rule which enabled Chinese solar panel manufacturers to avoid tariffs.
Biden’s potential veto is going to come less than a year after he announced that his administration would pause the solar panel anti-circumvention tariffs for two years. This decision was made following a lot of pressure from environmental groups and the clean energy industry.
Months earlier, the Commerce Department investigated whether Chinese manufacturers were illegally moving their solar panels through Southeast Asia to circumvent U.S. tariffs. In December, they released the preliminary investigation findings which showed that four major solar companies had been transporting their products through Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam in order to avoid having to pay duties. However, with the Biden administration’s tariff enforcement moratorium in effect, the agency is not able to enforce any trade laws that would deem this practice illegal.
Following the investigation, a group of Republicans and Democrats led by Reps. Dan Kildee (D-MI), and Bill Posey(R-FL), joined Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Bob Latta (R-OH_, Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced a resolution that would remove Biden’s executive action.
In a statement released on Monday, the White House condemned this resolution, claiming that domestic manufacturers are “dependent on imports for solar power products” that can help reduce energy costs, combat climate change, and improve people’s health. They argued that the administration was working to “support domestic solar panel manufacturing.”