Rosen Leads Letter to President Biden in Opposition to Extending Job-Killing Solar Tariffs

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is leading a bipartisan group of Senators in a letter to President Joe Biden urging him not to extend the current Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels and cells, which 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 impacted clean energy job creation in the United States.

The bipartisan letter was signed by a group of eight U.S. Senators, including Rosen, and Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Michael Bennet (D-CO). 

“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 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.”

“We write to request that you allow the Section 201 tariffs currently imposed on imported solar panels and cells to lapse,” the Senators’ letter continued. “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.”

Senator Rosen has been a leader in the pushback against these job-killing solar tariffs. In 2018, as a member of the House of Representatives, Senators introduced the Protecting American Solar Jobs Act, bipartisan legislation to repeal the solar tariffs, which began under the Trump Administration. In December 2020, Senator Rosen joined a letter to the Biden-Harris transition team urging the Administration to repeal the prior Administration’s solar tariffs. 

Last September, Senator Rosen led a group of a dozen Senators urging U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to carefully assess the validity of a series of anonymously filed petitions to expand job-killing tariffs on solar panels. Then in November, following Senator Rosen’s call to action against this threat, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would reject the petitions to expand the solar tariffs.

The full text of the letter can be found here.