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Climate Politics

Biden’s Trade Plan to Kickstart US Solar Fails to Win Over Industry

Biden is imposing two-year freeze on new tariffs for solar imports and invoking Defense Production Act to support US-made panels.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg
Updated on

President Joe Biden’s attempt to defuse a complicated trade dispute that’s paralyzed the US solar industry is drawing swift criticism from some of the very companies the White House had been seeking to appease.

While environmental groups and some companies that develop solar farms and rooftop systems cheered the effort, it failed to win over US panel makers that struggle to compete against Asian rivals. Their opposition reflects the challenge Biden faces when it comes to supporting domestic manufacturers without alienating the companies that rely on low-cost imports. It also underscores the White House's oft-competing political priorities as it seeks to combat climate change while taking a firm stance against China.