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Letter Follows Decision by Department of Commerce to Investigate Solar Circumvention Petition, Threatening Thousands of U.S. Clean Energy Jobs and Higher Costs for Consumers

Washington–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and a bipartisan group of their colleagues to urge President Joe Biden to expedite and bring to a swift conclusion the administration’s investigation into solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailanda and Cambodia. This investigation could expand harmful, job-killing tariffs on solar imports, raising costs on consumers, and has already caused widespread cancellations and delays in the U.S. solar industry. The solar industry employs over 230,000 American workers. According to a new report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association, 70 percent of U.S. companies say at least half of their solar workforce is at risk as a result of this investigation. 

This bipartisan letter was also signed by Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mark Warner (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), John W. Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Angus King (I-Maine).  

“Initiation of this investigation is already causing massive disruption in the solar industry, and it will severely harm American solar businesses and workers and increase costs for American families as long as it continues,” wrote the senators. “We strongly urge your administration to swiftly review the case and make an expedited preliminary determination. Such a determination should carefully consider the significant policy ramifications and reject the petitioner’s request for retroactivity.”  

“Already, as a result of Commerce’s decision to initiate this investigation, industry surveys indicate that 83% of U.S. solar companies report being notified of canceled or delayed panel supply. Without a reliable and cost-effective source of panels, existing and proposed solar projects could come to a halt,” the letter continued. “Left unaddressed, cutting off this supply of panels and cells also could cause the loss of more than 100,000 American jobs, including approximately 18,000 manufacturing jobs.” 

The full text of the letter can be found here