Imported, Affordable Solar Panels Support Over 200,000 American Jobs, Including More than 6,000 Workers in Nevada
LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) responded to the Biden Administration’s disappointing decision to partially extend Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels and cells, while praising the decision to exclude bifacial panels. Last month, Senator Rosen led a bipartisan group of senators in urging President Biden against extending the harmful solar tariffs and asking the Administration to at a minimum exclude bifacial panels if tariffs were extended. According to a recent report, Nevada has the largest solar economy and most solar jobs per capita in the entire country.
“I appreciate the Biden Administration heeding my call to exclude bifacial panels from tariffs and also increasing the number of allowable imported solar cells, recognizing the importance of technological advancements in solar and how vital these imported panels and cells are to American jobs in this industry,” said Senator Rosen. “At the same time, the overall decision to extend these harmful tariffs is disappointing and remains the wrong approach because it will harm America’s clean energy economy by unnecessarily hindering domestic solar projects and raising costs, while failing to incentivize domestic manufacturing. We should be making forward-thinking investments in domestic solar manufacturing, providing certainty and long-term federal support for this key industry. I will continue working to strengthen solar industry jobs in Nevada and across the country by boosting American manufacturing and fighting to end these misguided solar tariffs, including through legislation.”
As a result of these tariffs, first imposed by the Trump Administration in 2018, 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. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), these solar tariffs have led to the loss of more than 62,000 American clean energy jobs. They have not significantly expanded America’s solar manufacturing base, despite promises from the last Administration that tariffs would increase domestic manufacturing.
Current domestic production of solar panels only meets 15% of the U.S. solar demand. Nearly 90% of workers in the domestic solar industry work in non-manufacturing jobs – from installation and maintenance to operations, distribution, and development – and rely on the availability of affordable solar panels.
Senator Rosen has been a leader in the pushback against solar tariffs. In 2018, as a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Protecting American Solar Jobs Act to repeal the solar tariffs. In December 2020, Senator Rosen joined a letter to the Biden-Harris transition team urging a repeal of the prior Administration’s solar tariffs.
Last year, Senator Rosen led a group of a dozen Senators in successfully pushing the U.S. Department of Commerce to reject a series of anonymously filed petitions to expand the job-killing tariffs to solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.