Seventeen U.S. clean energy CEOs have urged President Joe Biden to repeal the Trump administration’s October 2020 solar tariff proclamation, which the leaders called “punitive” and “ill conceived.”
In a letter to Biden, the CEOs noted that the proclamation increased the 2021 trade tariff rate for imported solar cells and modules and argued that the decision “arbitrarily” revoked the exclusion for bifacial solar panels.
Led by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and supported by the American Clean Power Association (ACP), the letter called attention to the proclamation’s impact to existing solar contracts and discussed how harmful the Section 201 tariffs are to the U.S. economy and the industry’s ability to address climate change. The CEOs asked Biden to return the tariffs to status quo and restore business certainty.
“Billions of dollars’ worth of solar contracts are now at risk because of the October 10 proclamation,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the SEIA, in a statement. “The president has the opportunity to build a clean energy economy with millions of well-paying jobs, strengthen our nation’s infrastructure, bolster domestic manufacturing, and uplift communities across America. Removing the tariffs is the first step to achieving this vision.”
The CEOs said the letter comes as clean energy companies continue to feel the effects of the tariffs. According to analysis from SEIA, the tariffs have led to a loss of 62,000 solar jobs, $19 billion in missed private-sector investment, and a 26 million metric-ton increase in carbon emissions.
APC CEO Heather Zichal said, “Our country has an industrious and determined solar workforce, from installers and operators to engineers and innovators, and every single one of them will benefit from the repeal of the last administration’s proclamation, which injected uncertainty into the marketplace.”
SEIA and ACP vowed they will continue to work with the Biden administration, the next U.S. trade representative, and other organizations to create more opportunities for domestic solar jobs and products.
The letter, as well as the full list of CEO signatories, is available for download here.
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How will this align with Biden’s “make it in America” goals?
If the tariffs are removed, will the US solar guys commit to passing 100% of the savings on to their customers?
The big thing here is cutting costs. Most companies are looking to cut costs by going overseas and this is where the impact happens. Biden so far has made good on the green industry and hopefully he continues with some adjustments to what Trump did.
The major thing here is how it would have an impact on the amount of jobs that will be available.
Solar is too important to play politics with. This Tariff was designed to slow solar, help coal, nothing more. We need some area of the country to attract multiple solar panel, cell, ingot, glass companies so they can get the economies of scale needed for rock bottom prices to compete.
And no reason we can’t be making the inverters, etc., too. Or at least have multiple countries other than China to source everything.
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