House votes to restore solar panel tariffs paused by Biden

House votes to restore solar panel tariffs paused by Biden

House votes to restore solar panel tariffs paused by Biden

WASHINGTON — The House voted Friday to reinstate tariffs on solar panel imports from several Southeast Asian countries after President Joe Biden paused them in a bid to boost solar panel installations in the U.S., a key part of his climate agenda.

The 221-202 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where lawmakers from both parties have expressed similar concerns about what many call unfair competition from China. Despite an abundance of evidence that China is cheating the trade system, Biden has vowed to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

Some U.S. manufacturers contend that China has essentially moved operations to four Southeast Asian countries — Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia — to skirt strict anti-dumping rules that limit imports from China.

A Commerce Department inquiry last year found likely trade violations involving Chinese products. Biden halted the tariffs for two years as part of his radical climate change agenda.

Rep. Jason Smith, R-Missouri, said Friday that restoring the tariffs would hold China accountable while protecting U.S. jobs and workers. Tariffs would protect American manufacturers who are facing unfair competition from China, which is subsidizing its products and selling them at low prices, Smith said.

"These trade abuses are well-known to all of us in this chamber,'' said Smith, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

“By shipping its products through Cambodia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, (Chinese officials) have set up a scheme that cheats American workers and consumers,'' Smith said. “We know there's wrongdoing going on. We know China is cheating, and that's precisely why members of both parties were stunned and disappointed when the White House made the misguided decision'' to halt the tariffs for two years.