Biden backs solar and vetoes AD/CVD waiver removal

Joe Biden introduced the waiver on solar import tariffs last year to run until 2024. Image: President Biden via Twitter.

President Joe Biden has vetoed the proposal by the Senate and the House of Representatives to revoke his two-year waiver on Southeast Asian solar PV imports.

The President’s veto will uphold the moratorium on imports from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia through 2024 and prevent what the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predicted would be US$1 billion in retroactive tariffs on US solar companies and gigawatts of cancelled or delayed projects.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The veto was expected after the motion passed through the Senate a fortnight ago; a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives is now the only way to overturn the decision.

The tariffs themselves – named the antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) tariffs – have been a long-unfolding saga in the US over the last year. In December the Department of Commerce (DOC) found over 20 Chinese companies guilty of evading import tariffs by channelling operations through Southeast Asia, which was followed by the first attempt to reinstate the taxes in January.

The blow-by-blow story of the AD/CVD tariffs can be found in PV Tech’s coverage here.

Of Biden’s veto, CEO of the SEIA, Abigail Ross Hopper, said: “This action is a reaffirmation of the administration’s commitment to business certainty in the clean energy sector, and a signal to companies to continue creating jobs, building domestic manufacturing capacity and investing in American communities.”

She added: “The Commerce Department’s solar tariff case effectively shut down the solar industry last spring, and the short-term tariff pause was strategically implemented to both allow project development to continue and create a bridge to a domestic manufacturing future.”

Biden himself said that the waiver would allow “a thriving solar installation industry ready to deploy American-made solar products to homes, businesses and communities across the nation.”

The waiver was intended as a ‘bridge’ to allow the US’ solar industry to ramp up its manufacturing capacity with Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) incentives before the tariffs come into force in 2024. Opponents of the President’s decision said that this leniency allowed Chinese companies to violate US trade law and undermined American jobs and businesses.

Currently, the US sources 80% of its solar panels from those four Southeast Asian countries and many domestically-produced products are yet to become ubiquitous or cheap enough to compete.

Commerce clarified the scope of the AD/CVD tariffs in December, confirming that modules that use Southeast Asia-made cells but are assembled in a third country would not be subject to the taxes. Cells produced in China and then used in modules elsewhere before entering the US would still be clarified as Chinese-made and subject to the tariffs.

US domestic cell production is currently still in its infancy. PV Tech head of research Finlay Colville published a blog in February discussing how the IRA should prioritise cell production to make the US domestic market competitive.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 17, 2024
German quality assurance and testing centre TÜV Rheinlandwill present a traceability testing service for modules at Intersolar Europe 2024.
June 17, 2024
At SNEC 2024 last week, PV Tech spoke to John Zhang, deputy general manager of inverter manufacturer and smart energy provider Hypontech.
June 17, 2024
During SNEC 2024 event, PV Tech spoke with Hopewind's Sara Wang about its range of products at the event, and its latest rebranding efforts.
June 17, 2024
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has taken control of a 500kV, 125-mile transmission line between California and Arizona.
June 17, 2024
German renewable energy developer Juwi has completed the construction of a 223MW solar PV project in the US state of Colorado.
June 17, 2024
The UK and the Ireland I-SEM are also top markets for renewables and battery energy storage systems (BESS) co-location in Europe.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia