May 02, 2022

Van Hollen, Rosen Urge President Biden to Expedite Solar Tariff Investigation Decision

Letter Follows Decision by Department of Commerce to Investigate Solar Circumvention Petition, Threatening Thousands of U.S. Clean Energy Jobs and Higher Costs for Consumers

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) alongside Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in a bipartisan letter urging President Joe Biden to expedite and bring to a swift conclusion the Administration’s investigation into solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia and requesting a meeting to discuss this issue. This investigation could expand harmful, job-killing tariffs on solar imports, raising costs on consumers, and has already caused widespread cancellations and delays in the U.S. solar industry. The solar industry employs over 230,000 American workers, including more than 6,000 Nevadans. According to a new report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association, 70 percent of U.S. companies say at least half of their solar workforce is at risk as a result of this investigation.  

This bipartisan letter was also signed by Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), John W. Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.),  Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). 

“Initiation of this investigation is already causing massive disruption in the solar industry, and it will severely harm American solar businesses and workers and increase costs for American families as long as it continues,” wrote the Senators. “We strongly urge your administration to swiftly review the case and make an expedited preliminary determination. Such a determination should carefully consider the significant policy ramifications and reject the petitioner’s request for retroactivity.”  

“Already, as a result of Commerce’s decision to initiate this investigation, industry surveys indicate that 83% of U.S. solar companies report being notified of canceled or delayed panel supply. Without a reliable and cost-effective source of panels, existing and proposed solar projects could come to a halt,” the Senators’ letter continued. “Left unaddressed, cutting off this supply of panels and cells also could cause the loss of more than 100,000 American jobs, including approximately 18,000 manufacturing jobs.”

Full text of the letter is available here.