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U.S. Exempts PV Module Tariffs From Four Southeast Asian Countries 07 / 2022.Jun
The White House announced on Monday that as part of a push for clean energy, President Joe Biden stopped imposing tariffs on solar panels in four Southeast Asian countries under the Defense Production Act. Boosted by this news, the solar sector of U.S. stocks rose more than 5% that day.

The tariff exemptions reportedly apply to panels in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, which will boost future U.S. production of solar panels and other clean technologies. The technology scope covers five areas: solar panel components; building insulation systems; heat pumps; equipment that manufactures and uses clean power generation fuels such as electrolyzers, fuel cells, related platinum group metals, etc.; and critical grid infrastructure such as transformers.

In March of this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided to investigate whether solar cells and modules assembled by the aforementioned four countries circumvented anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the United States on cells and modules. U.S. solar panel imports have been frozen because of the tariff investigation. In this regard, many US state governors, lawmakers, environmentalists, etc. have expressed concern, because related investigations may lead to retroactive tariffs of up to 250%.

According to an industry survey published by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the tariffs affect 84 percent of all U.S. solar modules exported by the countries concerned and half of the cells imported for U.S. domestic module production. Three-quarters of the 200 companies surveyed by SEIA have delayed or cancelled solar module deliveries. Under the threat of tariffs, the association lowered its forecast for solar installations in 2022 and 2023 by 46% (about 24 GW).

In a statement, the White House said clean energy technologies are a key part of the arsenal of tools to reduce energy costs for homes, reduce risks to the grid, and address the urgent crisis of climate change.

Affected by factors such as supply chain bottlenecks, the current US consumer price index (CPI) has exceeded 8%, the highest level in nearly 40 years, and the rise in energy and food prices driven by the situation in Ukraine is one of the important drivers. Wells Fargo pointed out that rising prices, especially for necessities, like tax hikes, are forcing consumers to spend less on other goods and services, exacerbating headwinds in the economy.

The White House statement said that since Biden took office, U.S. domestic solar power capacity has increased from 7.5 GW to 15 GW; the goal is to triple U.S. domestic solar production capacity to 22.5 GW by 2024, which will be sufficient to support More than 3.3 million households switch to clean solar every year.

To advance a clean energy future, Biden proposes to develop two innovative tools: increasing the speed and efficiency with which domestic clean electricity suppliers can sell their products to the U.S. government by directing master supply agreements for homegrown solar systems; establishing a “super discount” ( super preference), solar system-related products that meet U.S. standards will be subject to the "Buy American" rule. With the rapid expansion of domestic manufacturing, the 24-month deadline ensures a reliable supply of components needed by U.S. manufacturers to build clean energy projects and power grids, while strengthening the integrity of trade laws and processes.

In addition, the U.S. will allow more clean energy projects to be deployed on public lands and roll out to urban and rural areas, offering to support diversification of the solar labor market through high-paying jobs and build resilient clean energy manufacturing supply chains for allies.

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