Biden Waives Tariffs On Solar Panels Hit By Probe For 2 Years
After an investigation blocked imports and postponed projects in the US, President Joe Biden will grant a 24-month tariff exemption for solar panels from four Southeast Asian countries on Monday, sources familiar with the matter told Jeff Mason of Reuters.
Photo Insert: Taking executive action and invoking the DPA, which grants presidents some control over domestic businesses, allows Biden to use the instruments at his disposal without jeopardizing the Commerce Department's investigation.
The decision comes amid concerns about the impact of the Commerce Department's months-long inquiry into whether solar panels imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are being used to avoid tariffs on Chinese goods.
One source familiar with the White House's intentions said Biden's action would ease companies' anxieties about having to hold billions of dollars in reserves to pay future tariffs.
"There is going to be this safe harbor timeout on the ... collection of duties, and that's at the heart of what's going to save all of these solar projects and ensure that they are going forward," the source said. Biden also will invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to drive US manufacturing of solar panels and other clean energy technologies in the future, with the support of loans and grants, the sources said.
State governors, lawmakers, industry executives, and environmentalists have raised worry over the probe, which might have resulted in up to 250 percent retroactive tariffs.
The situation presented a unique challenge for the White House, which wants to demonstrate US leadership on climate change, in part by supporting the use of renewable energy, while also respecting and staying out of the probe.
Taking executive action and invoking the DPA, which grants presidents some control over domestic businesses, allows Biden to use the instruments at his disposal without jeopardizing the Commerce Department's investigation.