More than 400 American Companies Implore Congress to Protect Business Certainty and Jobs by Rejecting $1 Billion in Retroactive Solar Tariffs

SEIA estimates the Congressional Review Act legislation to repeal President Biden’s two-year solar tariff moratorium will eliminate 30,000 jobs, including 4,000 manufacturing jobs

PVTIME - On 17 April 2023, more than 400 American companies across the solar value chain sent a letter to Congress expressing the devastating impact that a repeal of President Biden’s solar tariff moratorium would have on their businesses and workers.

President Biden issued an executive action last June to pause new solar tariffs for two years in response to a near-complete shutdown of solar module supply in the United States caused by the meritless Auxin Solar tariff investigation. A group of lawmakers are attempting to overturn this action and force American companies to pay more than $1 billion in retroactive duties.

“Congress just passed historic clean energy legislation that is sparking a wave of project deployment and manufacturing investments, but passing this CRA bill will undo much of this progress and have a devastating economic impact in communities across the country,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “The tariff pause provided business certainty that kept solar projects moving forward while providing a bridge for domestic manufacturing to grow. This deeply flawed use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) rips the rug out from underneath American businesses and will cause thousands of workers to lose their livelihoods.”

Analysis from SEIA shows that passing this CRA legislation will eliminate 30,000 American jobs, including 4,000 manufacturing jobs. It will cause the cancellation of 4 gigawatts of solar project deployment in 2023 worth over $4.2 billion in investment. This lost deployment represents 14% of expected solar installations this year and will increase carbon emissions from the power sector by 24 million metric tons.

The letter emphasizes the need to grow domestic manufacturing and reduce reliance on imports but urges lawmakers to not undermine the very legislation that is positioning America as a solar manufacturing powerhouse.

“This misguided resolution would stall America’s clean energy progress and put thousands of construction jobs at risk,” said George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Energy and Chair of SEIA’s board of directors. “The President’s action to provide business certainty with a pause on tariffs while the supply chain shifts, combined with the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, has enabled solar companies to hire more workers and greenlight projects while the U.S. scales up its manufacturing capacity here at home. Ending the two-year reprieve would effectively halt our momentum and undercut American growth in this industry. We need Congress to stand with solar job creators and reject this dangerous effort."

"If Congress enacts the Congressional Review Act to remove the pause put in place on solar tariffs, the solar industry will face devastating impacts nationwide", said Jon Powers, president of CleanCapital. "Projects we are investing in and building right now might face multi-million-dollar retroactive penalties. This will unfairly penalize clean energy companies and significantly impede our nation's ability to reach our net zero goals."

“Since the announcement of the two-year pause on solar tariffs and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the development of American solar manufacturing facilities,” said Chad Farrell, co-CEO and Founder of Encore Renewable Energy. “The administration’s action provided our company with the certainty needed to continue to build solar projects while providing an important bridge for domestic manufacturing to scale. Our lawmakers should oppose the efforts presented by the Congressional Review Act that will not only halt our progress to date but jeopardize our ability to compete with other nations for climate economy leadership and to do our part in addressing the global climate crisis.”