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Congress Wrestles with White House; US House of Representatives Approved Termination on Solar Duty Exemption for Four Southeast Asian Countries

published: 2023-05-02 9:30

US President Joe Biden had once paused the imposition of solar duty for Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam in 2022. The US House of Representatives had approved the termination on duty exemption for solar panels from the four Southeast Asian countries in a 221-202 vote, for which the White House has responded that the president will reject the resolution.

Solar panels imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam occupy about 80% of the US supply chain. US President Joe Biden, in order to fulfill the climate target, had exempted duties for solar products from the four aforementioned countries, though the US Department of Commerce discovered from its investigation that numerous solar panel suppliers are shifting their production to these four countries so as to circumvent duties imposed by the US on China, and regards such behavior to be a form of illicit transshipment. However, the 24-month exemption period granted by the Biden administration will only be expired in June 2024.

The House of Representatives had recently passed the revocation in a 221-202 vote, which will now be passed to the US Senate currently controlled by the Democratic Party. However, a coverage by the Reuters revealed that Biden will reject this resolution.

US solar suppliers believe that local suppliers would only be able to compete with cheaper solar panels from overseas through the imposition of duties, while the White House is convinced that a termination on duty exemption will endanger energy security and sabotage the current progress on battling climate issues, and duties on products imported from Southeast Asia will ramp up the level of cost for solar developers, which in turn immobilizes corresponding solar projects.

As pointed out by Reuters’ coverage, Biden is not looking to extend the exemption of duties after expiration in two years thanks to the improved capability of solar production in the US.

 (Cover photo source: pixabay)

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