WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz), led a bipartisan group of 19 colleagues in a letter urging President Joe Biden to expedite and bring to a swift conclusion the administration’s investigation into solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia and requesting a meeting to discuss this issue.
Senator Heinrich has been vocal that this investigation and proposed tariffs risk harming hundreds of locally-owned companies, jeopardizing tens of thousands of jobs, and stifling billions of dollars in investments in communities in New Mexico and across the country. The solar industry employs over 230,000 American workers. According to a new report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association, 70% of U.S. companies say at least half of their solar workforce is at risk as a result of this investigation.
“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 senators’ 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 bipartisan letter, led by U.S. Senators Rosen, Heinrich, and Sinema, was also signed by U.S. 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.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), 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).
Senator Heinrich recently met with New Mexico solar industry leaders to hear how the solar tariff petition would impact the state’s solar industry and the hard-working New Mexicans that support it. During the meeting, state industry leaders expressed how the latest solar tariff petition is already disrupting New Mexico’s solar industry and undermining the state’s ability to meet its clean energy and climate goals.
Read the full text of the letter by clicking HERE.
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