Brown Statement Supporting U.S. Solar Industry Trade Petition to Combat China’s Illegal Trade Practices – Senator Sherrod Brown

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today issued the below statement supporting efforts by the U.S. solar manufacturing industry to hold China accountable for its unfair trade practices. Today the American Alliance for Solar Manufacturing Trade Committee, made up of leading U.S. solar manufacturers from across the country, including First Solar in Perrysburg, filed a set of antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to investigate potentially illegal trade practices by Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, which are causing serious harm to the U.S. solar industry and its workers. The foreign companies that would be subject to this investigation are primarily headquartered in China.   

“It’s clear that China’s cheating is rampant in the solar industry – the Chinese government will do anything to stop the American solar manufacturing industry before it takes off,” said Senator Brown. “China is running the same playbook Ohio steelworkers know all too well, routing their products through other southeast Asian countries to try to get around the rules. The Administration cannot let them get away with it. The ITC and the Commerce Department need to move on these petitions immediately to level the playing field for workers in Ohio’s solar industry.”

Brown has long been a leader in fighting for domestic solar manufacturers, including First Solar, which employs more than 2,000 workers in Northwest Ohio. Earlier this year he called on the president to increase tariffs on Chinese solar imports threatening American solar manufacturing jobs. A 2022 report from the United States Trade Representative on China’s compliance with the World Trade Organization underscored that the underlying economic reasons and market conditions for why the tariffs were imposed have not changed. In addition, a March 2023 report from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) showed that Section 301 and 232 tariffs led to significant increases in domestic production in the tariffed industries that were analyzed. 

In May of 2023, Brown led his Senate colleagues in voting to reinstate duties on illegally dumped Chinese solar panels. Prior to the vote, he took to the Senate Floor to urge his colleagues to vote in favor of reinstating these duties. Brown also introduced the Reclaiming the Solar Supply Chain Act to expand the solar manufacturing supply chain in the U.S., create jobs, and support our global competitiveness. This legislation also supports good-paying union jobs by ensuring that any solar manufacturing facility in the U.S. that receives funding has strong labor protections for workers.

In May 2022, Brown originally called on President Biden to allow a Commerce Department investigation into whether Chinese companies were circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties to continue. The Administration heeded Brown’s call and in December 2022, the Administration’s investigation revealed that four leading Chinese solar-cell manufacturers circumvented U.S. tariffs by routing some of their operations through Southeast Asia. In March 2023, Brown urged President Biden to rescind the suspension of market-balancing tariffs on Chinese solar product importers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam to level the playing field for American manufacturers and workers and give them the opportunity to better compete in the global economy. In August, the Department of Commerce issued a final determination confirming that Chinese solar panel producers – operating in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam – are circumventing U.S. trade law meant to protect American businesses and workers by routing their products through Southeast Asia.


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