Letter Follows Decision by Department of Commerce to Investigate Solar Circumvention Petition, Threatening Thousands of U.S. Clean Energy Jobs and Higher Costs for Consumers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), led a bipartisan group of 19 colleagues in a letter urging President Joe Biden to expedite and bring to a swift conclusion the Administration’s investigation into solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia and requesting a meeting to discuss this issue. This investigation could expand harmful, job-killing tariffs on solar imports, raising costs on consumers, and has already caused widespread cancellations and delays in the U.S. solar industry. The solar industry employs over 230,000 American workers, including more than 6,000 Nevadans. According to a new report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association, 70 percent of U.S. companies say at least half of their solar workforce is at risk as a result of this investigation. 

This bipartisan letter was also signed by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Angus King (I-ME), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), John W. Hickenlooper (D-CO), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH). 

“Initiation of this investigation is already causing massive disruption in the solar industry, and it will severely harm American solar businesses and workers and increase costs for American families as long as it continues,” wrote the Senators. “We strongly urge your administration to swiftly review the case and make an expedited preliminary determination. Such a determination should carefully consider the significant policy ramifications and reject the petitioner’s request for retroactivity.” 

“Already, as a result of Commerce’s decision to initiate this investigation, industry surveys indicate that 83% of U.S. solar companies report being notified of canceled or delayed panel supply. Without a reliable and cost-effective source of panels, existing and proposed solar projects could come to a halt,” the Senators’ letter continued. “Left unaddressed, cutting off this supply of panels and cells also could cause the loss of more than 100,000 American jobs, including approximately 18,000 manufacturing jobs.”

The full text of the letter can be found here

Senator Rosen has been leading the fight against harmful solar tariffs. After spearheading a bipartisan group of a dozen senators in urging Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to carefully assess the validity of a recently filed petition to expand these solar tariffs, Senator Rosen also pressed Secretary Raimondo about expediting this investigation in a hearing last week. 

In a win for Nevada solar jobs, Senator Rosen successfully pushed the Biden Administration to exclude bifacial panels from an extension of solar tariffs and increase the number of allowable imported solar cells. In response to the Administration’s decision to partially extend Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels and cells in February, Senator Rosen introduced her Protecting American Solar Jobs and Lowering Costs Act, bipartisan legislation with Senator Moran to fully repeal the solar tariffs while incentivizing domestic solar manufacturing.

Last year, Senator Rosen also led a dozen Senators in successfully urging Secretary Raimondo to carefully assess and reject a series of anonymously filed petitions to expand job-killing tariffs on solar panels. 

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