U.S. International Trade Commission recommends extension of solar tariffs

Today, the US International Trade Commission recommended an extension of Section 201 global indemnification tariffs on solar cells and modules. President Biden now has the freedom to consider this recommendation and make a final decision.

In a bulletin, the USITC said the lighting “continues to be needed by the U.S. industry that produces crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products.”

The USITC held a virtual hearing on Nov. 3 where proponents and opponents of the tariffs shared their concerns. Two-sided solar panels remain exempt from the tariffs for the time being, following a Nov. 16 ruling by the US Court of International Trade (CIT).

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA, made the following statement regarding the USITC’s recommendations to President Biden:

“Four years of tariffs has proven to be an ineffective way to boost solar production and create American jobs. President Biden has made it clear that climate change is an existential threat and that we need to use as much clean energy as possible to tackle it. Another round of Trump-imposed levies will hamper U.S. solar development in their wake, and we hope President Biden sees the damage they will do to his clean energy vision.

“Under the Section 201 tariffs, America lost 62,000 solar jobs, including a net loss of 6,000 solar production jobs. SEIA remains committed to growing domestic production, but tariffs are not the answer. It’s time to take some real industry policies, like Senator Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, to boost and grow the solar manufacturing industry right here at home.

“We urge President Biden to take a different approach from the previous administration and reject these tariffs. With sensible trade policies and the implementation of Build Back Better legislation, the solar industry will be well positioned to maximize deployment and create a domestic supply chain to meet historic clean energy demand.”

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