Since tariffs hitting U.S. solar installations could stall clean energy plans, U.S. President Joe Biden is reportedly moving to announce two-year tariff exemptions for solar panels in four Southeast Asian countries.
Reuters pointed out that the United States will announce that imports of solar panels from Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia. and Vietnam will be exempted from tariffs for two years. According to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, Biden will also invoke the Defense Production Act to support U.S. solar manufacturers, with an announcement expected as soon as Monday.
Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, pointed out that during the tariff exemption period, in addition to accelerating the deployment of solar power plants in the United States, the Defense Production Act will also help develop the U.S. solar manufacturing industry. The White House also intends to use the federal government’s purchasing power to support U.S. clean energy manufacturers, another person familiar with the matter said.
For months, the U.S. Department of Commerce has been investigating whether Chinese solar makers have concealed their origins in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to circumvent decade-old tariffs since solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam now account for about 80% of US imports.
This survey has caused an impact on US solar again. Solar manufacturers have stopped shipping to the US, installation progress has naturally slowed down, and it has also impacted climate action and energy transition in the US. Due to delays in power plant schedules, at least one US utility company plans to extend the operating hours of coal-fired power plants.
However, administration officials have insisted they cannot interfere with the Commerce Department's investigation, which is related to anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on China a decade ago and that the Commerce Department will release preliminary findings in late August.