President Biden has vetoed a bipartisan resolution that aimed to reinstate tariffs on solar panels imported from specific Southeast Asian countries.
The resolution would have undermined the administration’s efforts to develop a strong domestic solar supply chain, according to President Biden.
The Department of Commerce had suspended tariffs on solar panels imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam through a rule that went into effect in November.
This rule was implemented after President Biden waived tariffs on solar panels from these Southeast Asian countries for two years to address a shortage of solar modules and boost domestic manufacturing capacity.
The White House stated that about 75% of solar modules imported to the United States in 2020 originated from Southeast Asia.
President Biden, in his veto letter, highlighted the progress made by his administration, including the announcement of 51 new and expanded solar equipment manufacturing plants and commitments from private companies to increase their solar panel manufacturing capacity.
He emphasized that the Department of Commerce’s rule supports American businesses, workers, and provides reliable electricity to families, while holding trading partners accountable.
The resolution had passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate under the Congressional Review Act, allowing Congress to overturn federal agency rules through a simple majority vote.
However, President Biden vetoed the resolution, expressing concerns that it would harm the development of the solar industry in the United States and create uncertainty for businesses and workers.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), representing over 1,000 solar companies, had urged President Biden to veto the resolution and praised his action for preserving clean energy progress and protecting thousands of American jobs, including those in solar manufacturing.
Supporters of the resolution argued that China should face consequences for evading tariffs by using Southeast Asian countries as transit points for their products, based on a preliminary finding from a Commerce Department investigation.
President Biden clarified that he does not plan to extend the Department of Commerce rule beyond its expiration in June 2024.