By Jeff Mason | Reuters
WASHINGTON, June 5 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will declare a 24-month tariff exemption on Monday for solar panels from four Southeast Asian nations after an investigation froze imports and stalled projects in the United States, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The move comes amid concern about the impact of the Commerce Department’s months-long investigation into whether imports of solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are circumventing tariffs on goods made in China.
Biden’s action would allay companies’ concerns about having to hold billions of dollars in reserves to pay potential tariffs, one source familiar with the White House’s plans said.
“There is going to be this safe harbor timeout on the … collection of duties, and that’s at the heart of what’s going to save all of these solar projects and ensure that they are going forward,” the source said.
Biden also will invoke the Defense Production Act to drive U.S. manufacturing of solar panels and other clean energy technologies in the future, with the support of loans and grants, the sources said.
“Prepare for the solar industry to kick off once again after this much-needed solution to a problem the Biden administration created for itself. This is an absolutely huge move that will free up capital that was held hostage by the tariff circumvention proceedings. This executive order falls into the better-late-than-never category.”
–Court Rich, Rose Law Group Co-founder, Senior Partner and Director of Renewable Energy Law