Rosen, Heinrich Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging Commerce Secretary to Stop Threat of Additional Tariffs on Solar Imports

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) announced today that they are leading a bipartisan group of senators in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce urging Secretary Gina Raimondo to carefully assess the validity of a recently filed petition to expand job-killing tariffs on solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. 

In addition to Senators Rosen and Heinrich, the bipartisan letter was signed by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tom Carper (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). 

“We are writing to express our concerns regarding the latest solar tariff petition filed with the Department of Commerce that would severely harm the U.S. solar industry and its 250,000 American solar workers,” wrote the Senators. “Given the significant repercussions of imposing new tariffs on imported solar products, we implore you to carefully consider: 1) the validity of this petition, 2) whether it is more appropriate for the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to consider this matter as separate antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) cases, and 3) if it is appropriate to initiate the investigation called for in this petition.”

“Last year, imports from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia accounted for more than 80% percent of all CSPV imports and nearly 60% of total U.S. panel supply. New tariffs on solar products from these four countries would stall many ongoing and planned U.S. solar projects, negatively impacting every segment of the U.S. solar industry and resulting in significant job losses. In particular, the tariffs would have direct impact on the almost 90% of solar jobs in the United States that are not in the manufacturing sector,” the Senators’ letter continued.  

Senator Rosen has been a leader in the pushback against job-killing solar tariffs. Last year, Senator Rosen led a group of a dozen Senators in a similar letter urging Secretary Raimondo to carefully assess the validity of a series of anonymously filed petitions to expand job-killing tariffs on solar panels. Following Senator Rosen’s call to action, the Department of Commerce announced in November that it would reject the petitions to expand the solar tariffs.

Earlier this year, Senator Rosen led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter urging President Biden not to extend the Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels and cells, which were set to expire on February 6, 2022. Her efforts helped convince the Administration to exclude bifacial panels from the tariffs, a win for Nevada solar jobs.

Last month, Senator Rosen introduced her Protecting American Solar Jobs and Lowering Costs Act, bipartisan legislation with Senator Moran that would repeal the Section 201 tariffs on solar panels and create a Department of Energy program to enhance domestic production and manufacturing of solar panels and other solar energy components.

The full text of the letter can be found here.