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Solar Leaders Urge Biden to Revoke Trump Tariff Proclamation

March 4, 2021


A coalition of clean energy CEOs dubbed the October 2020 proclamation “ill conceived” and called for a repeal in order to restore certainty to the U.S. solar market.

Seventeen U.S. clean energy CEOs have urged President Joe Biden to repeal the Trump administration’s October 2020 solar tariff proclamation, which the leaders called “punitive” and “ill conceived.”

In a letter to Biden, the CEOs noted that the proclamation increased the 2021 trade tariff rate for imported solar cells and modules and argued that the decision “arbitrarily” revoked the exclusion for bifacial solar panels.

Led by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and supported by the American Clean Power Association (ACP), the letter called attention to the proclamation’s impact to existing solar contracts and discussed how harmful the Section 201 tariffs are to the U.S. economy and the industry’s ability to address climate change. The CEOs asked Biden to return the tariffs to status quo and restore business certainty.

“Billions of dollars’ worth of solar contracts are now at risk because of the October 10 proclamation,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the SEIA, in a statement. “The president has the opportunity to build a clean energy economy with millions of well-paying jobs, strengthen our nation’s infrastructure, bolster domestic manufacturing, and uplift communities across America. Removing the tariffs is the first step to achieving this vision.”

The CEOs said the letter comes as clean energy companies continue to feel the effects of the tariffs. According to analysis from SEIA, the tariffs have led to a loss of 62,000 solar jobs, $19 billion in missed private-sector investment, and a 26 million metric-ton increase in carbon emissions.

APC CEO Heather Zichal said, “Our country has an industrious and determined solar workforce, from installers and operators to engineers and innovators, and every single one of them will benefit from the repeal of the last administration’s proclamation, which injected uncertainty into the marketplace.”

SEIA and ACP vowed they will continue to work with the Biden administration, the next U.S. trade representative, and other organizations to create more opportunities for domestic solar jobs and products.

The letter, as well as the full list of CEO signatories, is available for download here.

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