President Biden Vetoes Solar Tariff Repeal Legislation

The exemption on tariffs will help build a bridge to American solar manufacturing capacity, the administration said.   May 23, 2023

By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor

President Biden vetoed legislation passed by Congress that would’ve repealed exemptions on tariffs on solar panels manufactured in the Southeast Asia countries of Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Basically, the legislation that narrowly passed in both houses would’ve reinstated a tariff on solar imports.  

The exemption on solar tariffs was originally enacted by the Biden Administration in 2022 for two years to provide American clean energy manufacturers with cheaper imported solar components, allow time for American solar manufacturers to continue to ramp up capacity, and to allow American solar projects already on the books to continue on schedule, according to Reuters

The Solar Energy Industries Association, a leading solar trade group, hailed the veto. It said in a statement: “President Biden’s veto has helped preserve our nation’s clean energy progress and prevented a bill from becoming law that would have eliminated 30,000 American jobs, including 4,000 solar manufacturing jobs. This action is a reaffirmation of the administration’s commitment to business certainty in the clean energy sector, and a signal to companies to continue creating jobs, building domestic manufacturing capacity and investing in American communities.” 

In sending the legislation back to Congress, President Biden wrote: “Passage of this resolution bets against American innovation.  It would undermine these efforts and create deep uncertainty for American businesses and workers in the solar industry.” 

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine. 


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