American Solar and Solar Jobs are at Risk


On March 28th, the Department of Commerce initiated an inquiry that risks applying retroactive tariffs on a majority of solar component imports, creating uncertainty across the industry.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES (June 6) – The Biden administration on Monday announced a two-year pause on imposing any new tariffs on the solar industry.

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The American Solar Industry is in Danger

U.S. Solar Industry Faces Major Setbacks as One Rogue Actor Seeks to Manipulate Trade Laws

A Single Company is Threatening the Domestic Solar Industry

Auxin Solar, a single company representing less than 3% of the U.S. module market, is attempting – without the support of a single other domestic manufacturing company – to manipulate U.S. trade laws to gain a competitive advantage. Auxin has asked the Department of Commerce to apply cost-prohibitive tariffs of up to 250% on solar products imported from four allied trading partners in Southeast Asia – Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Eighty percent (80%) of imported solar panels are sourced from these four countries. These solar panels are vital to supporting the 230,000 American solar jobs that exist today, including tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs for other essential solar components.

The Immediate Chilling Impact on the U.S. Solar Industry

Commerce has agreed to initiate a review of Auxin’s petition, and in past cases, it has typically taken 150 days or longer to issue a ruling despite having broad discretion to move faster. Merely initiating the investigation has frozen the domestic solar industry, and each passing day worsens the impacts on American workers and American households.

The potential tariffs that could be applied in this case could reasonably be as high as 250% and – importantly – would be retroactive back to April 1st, 2022. As a result, any solar panel imported between today and a ruling by Commerce carries a cost so astronomical that the manufacturers in the target countries have been forced to cease producing or importing solar panels destined for U.S. projects.

Commerce has Broad Discretion to Put an End to this Egregious Case and Save Solar Jobs

Secretary Raimondo rightfully declined to initiate a strikingly similar petition brought in 2021, further solidifying the point that this case is also not worthy of further investigation. The Secretary has broad discretion in her administration of these proceedings, including the ability to issue a negative ruling as soon as 45 days following the initiation of the inquiry.

There has never been a more crucial time to support clean, domestic, reliable, and affordable energy.

Secretary Raimondo Has the Legal Authority to Put the Solar Industry Back on Track in the Next Few Weeks

Blog Post from Heather Zichal

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has a path that is codified in the statute to stop a pointless process initiated over a phantom menace – and she can use those options in the coming weeks to breathe life back into an American solar industry whipsawed by her department’s actions.

Solar Inquiry Coverage

In the News

Biden orders emergency steps to boost U.S. solar production


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden ordered emergency measures Monday to boost crucial supplies to U.S. solar manufacturers and declared a two-year tariff exemption on solar panels from Southeast Asia as he attempted to jumpstart progress toward his climate change-fighting goals.

Heather Zichal

Chief Executive Officer
American Clean Power Association

“Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo still has the power to recognize the petition for what it is — an effort at gaming the system — and issue a negative preliminary determination, becoming a champion for American solar energy production, the middle-class jobs those domestic energy investments create, and the planet we seek to preserve.”

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