A group of eight House Republicans joined the majority of Democrats to support President Joe Biden’s suspension of United States tariffs on suspected China-made solar panels. Nonetheless, a bill to reverse the tariff suspension passed the House with support from 209 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
In June 2022, Biden announced a 24-month tariff moratorium on solar panel imports from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Commerce Department officials suspect that the solar panels are actually made in China but have been routed through the four southeast Asian nations to avoid U.S. tariffs on China-made solar panels.
The suspension of tariffs came even as Biden’s Commerce Department found that BYD Hong Kong rerouted its production through Cambodia, Canadian Solar, Trina through Thailand, and Vina Solar through Vietnam for the sole purpose of avoiding the tariffs.
On Friday, 209 House Republicans and 12 Democrats passed a resolution to reverse Biden’s tariff suspension while eight House Republicans — primarily from New York — joined 194 Democrats to oppose the effort.
The eight House Republicans who backed Biden’s tariff waivers are:
- Rep. John Curtis (R-UT)
- Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY)
- Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY)
- Rep. Nicholas LaLota (R-NY)
- Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY)
- Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY)
- Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA)
- Rep. Marcus Molinaro (R-NY)
Groups representing American manufacturers praised the passage of the resolution.
“We applaud Democrats and Republicans in the House for Standing up for American manufacturers and workers in the face of illegal, predatory Chinese trade activity,” Coalition for a Prosperous America CEO Michael Stumo said in a statement.
“The facts are clear: Commerce confirmed that China is illegally violating U.S. trade law and the Biden administration’s misguided rule protects them. Congress should never sit idly by and fail to respond to attacks on American industries and workers by any administration — regardless of party,” Stumo continued.
As Breitbart News reported, Biden has vowed to veto the resolution if it passes the Democrat-controlled Senate, claiming the tariff suspension is necessary to fight “the climate crisis.”
From 2001 to 2018, U.S. free trade with China eliminated 3.7 million American jobs from the economy — 2.8 million of which were lost in American manufacturing. During that same period, at least 50,000 American manufacturing plants closed down.
Those massive job losses have coincided with a booming U.S.-China trade deficit. In 1985, before China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $6 billion. In 2019, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled more than $345 billion.
While skyrocketing U.S. trade deficits have led to devastation across America’s working- and middle-class communities over the last two decades, tariffs would be a boon for reshoring jobs and boosting wages, studies show. One such study finds that tariffs on nearly all foreign imports would create about ten million American jobs while boosting domestic output.