Biden’s anti-trade protectionist policies are a significant obstacle in the Biden administration’s attempts to tackle climate change.
On Friday, Trump-era tariffs were extended by the White House on several types imported solar panels. These tariffs were due to expire this month. But President Joe Biden has used his unilateral authority in order to extend them for four more years.
This year’s tariff rate will be 14.75 percent. In the future, it is expected to drop to 14.5 percent and 14.25 percent for each of three years. Donald Trump applied his tariffs at a rate of 30 percent in 2018. They were decreased to 15 percent last.
In addition to the lower rate, Biden’s declaration of the tariff extension makes some technical changes to limit the scope of those import duties—double-sided solar cells, known as “bifacial cells,” are now exempt from tariffs, for example. The overall goal of Trump’s tariff extension is to increase the price consumers pay for imported panels and other components.
However, the Biden administration AlsoBiden wants Americans to use more solar energy. Biden actually wants Americans to use more solar power as part of its plan for combating climate change. White House stated that it would like solar energy to make up half of American energy production by 2020. Biden’s Plan to Build Back Better includes an important component: a new tax credit on residential solar panel installation.
Imported solar panels and cells are the only way to make this happen. According to the trade magazine, U.S. solar production is set to increase by around 30 gigawatts next year and 32 gigawatts 2023. Solar Power World. However, domestic production is limited to producing approximately 8 gigawatts of solar panels per year.
America’s sun industry is already being hit by artificially increased prices due to tariffs. Abigail Ross Hopper of the Solar Energy Industries Association estimated last year that America had lost 62,000 solar jobs due to the tariffs. Hopper stated in a statement on Friday that she was dissatisfied by Biden’s decision to increase tariffs. However, she appreciated the exemption of two-sided cell.
The increased costs of tariffs continue to be passed down the supply chain. The American Action Forum found that solar panel users in the United States paid $1.3 billion more for their energy from 2018 through 2020 due to the increased costs associated with tariffs. The fact that American consumers spend roughly twice the amount per watt of electricity produced by solar panels is likely due to tariffs.
Prices are higher when tariffs are applied, which means that there is less consumption. It is basic economics.
To please domestic solar businesses, the administration is trying to make consumers pay more. Then they will use tax dollars to compensate the artificially high prices by offering tax credits to consumers. They will be praised for their support of green energy expansion, and they should. Even if federal governments can put enough resources into individuals and companies to meet the White House’s solar-related goals, it would be much easier if they didn’t artificially increase the cost of imported panels.
No matter how economically absurd this tariff extension may seem, the political side should be obvious. These tariffs are not Trump’s. Biden is now the owner of this policy, having bypassed the expiration date and authorized his own extension.
He should be taken to task for this. These solar panel tariffs were first implemented by Trump in 2017. The protests from environmental groups were significant. Environmental Defense Fund condemned domestic producers for asking for tariffs, claiming that they prioritized their bottom line over protecting the environment. Lenae Shirley (the group’s senior director for technology, innovation and market adoption) wrote that the planet may suffer because each kilowatt not installed of zero-carbon sun energy is an opportunity to replace it with electricity from dirty, fossil fuel. Trump’s tariffs were also condemned by the Sierra Club, who said that it could “upend America’s solar industry,” which is heavily dependent on panels made in Asia.
None of the groups have made any official statements (or ever). Twitter post() About Biden’s decision for these tariff extensions.