Senators: “Extending The Tariffs Will Do Nothing But Add Unnecessary Costs to U.S. Consumers, Hurt American Solar Jobs, and Artificially Stymie The Deployment Of Otherwise Viable Solar Projects In The United States”
Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and several colleagues in a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden urging him not to extend the current Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels and cells. The tariffs are currently set to expire on February 6, 2022. As a result of these tariffs, first imposed by the Trump Administration, domestic prices for solar panels are now among the highest in the world and significantly above the global average, which has severely and negatively affected clean energy job creation in the United States.
“As you know, in February 2018, the Trump Administration imposed Section 201 tariffs on imported crystalline silicon solar panels and solar cell imports above an annual 2.5-gigawatt tariff rate quota,” wrote Bennet, Rosen, and the senators. “According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), this led to the loss of more than 62,000 American clean energy jobs and 10.5 gigawatts of foregone solar deployment. The Section 201 tariffs are currently set to expire on February 6, 2022, and we believe that extending the tariffs will do nothing but add unnecessary costs to U.S. consumers, hurt American solar jobs, and artificially stymie the deployment of otherwise viable solar projects in the United States.”
They continued: “We write to request that you allow the Section 201 tariffs currently imposed on imported solar panels and cells to lapse. At a minimum, we ask that you retain the Section 201 tariff exclusion for bifacial solar panels and not apply the tariffs to imported solar cells. Such actions will support good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector here in the United States and promote investments in clean, renewable energy at a time when our nation and our environment need them most.”
In August 2017, Bennet joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) not to impose these tariffs that would negatively affect the American solar industry. In December 2020, Bennet joined 11 Senate Democratic colleagues in a letter to President-elect Biden requesting that the incoming administration make a full repeal of the Trump Administration’s harmful solar tariffs.
In addition to Bennet and Rosen, this letter was signed by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
The text of the letter is available HERE.