Solar manufacturers launch offensive against imports

By Christian Robles, Jack Quinn | 04/24/2024 01:42 PM EDT

Seven U.S. solar manufacturers alleged that cheap, government-subsidized solar cells from Southeast Asia are harming American industry.

A solar farm.

A solar farm is seen west of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, on June 15, 2021. Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

A coalition of seven leading U.S. solar manufacturers asked the Commerce Department on Wednesday to expand tariffs on four Southeast Asian nations.

The filing puts the Biden administration at the center of a contentious election-year dispute over whether to impose additional tariffs to protect domestic manufacturing or instead allow U.S. companies to benefit from underpriced foreign solar panel and cell imports.

The move threatens to make solar projects more expensive at a time when the industry is facing soaring electricity demand and recovering from supply chain challenges dating back to the pandemic.


U.S. solar manufacturers have generally claimed that low-cost foreign imports are killing the Biden administration’s hopes of reshoring an industry that has moved abroad in past decades. Solar installers, on the other hand, have generally argued that any new tariffs to crack down on imports could slow down the deployment of essential renewable power.