Biden vetoes legislation to block solar panel tariffs waivers

by Jacob Fuller

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he has vetoed legislation passed by the U.S. Congress to repeal exemptions granted to Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to American tariffs on imported solar panels.

The waivers to the four Southeast Asian countries, granted by Biden in June 2022, are due to be in place for two years. Imports from these countries make up around 80% of U.S. solar panel supplies. Biden said the waivers will create a “bridge” while U.S. manufacturing ramps up enough to supply the domestic projects needed to achieve goals in fighting climate change.

In a statement explaining only the third veto of his presidency, Biden said the waivers would help ensure “we have a thriving solar installation industry ready to deploy American-made solar products to homes, businesses, and communities across the nation.” Biden said he does not intend to extend the waivers after their expiration.

Domestic manufacturers have said the tariffs are needed now to compete with cheap panels made overseas.

Congress appears to lack the votes to override Biden’s veto, with two-thirds majorities needed in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Copyright 2023 Thompson/Reuters