Yesterday, June 6, 2022, President Biden ordered various emergency measures to combat a shortage of solar modules and related components in the United States, including declaring a tariff exemption of up to two years on certain solar cells and modules exported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
As discussed in McGuireWoods’ April 15, 2022, alert, “U.S. Department of Commerce Investigation of Solar Panel Imports Puts Solar Projects at Risk,” such shortage was in part due to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) investigation into whether solar panel imports from these countries circumvented existing duties intended to limit imports of solar cells and panels from China, and the resulting chilling effect of the investigation on imports of solar panels and related technologies from the affected countries.
Opponents of the DOC investigation, which count among their ranks many solar developers and contractors, applauded President Biden’s actions and expressed confidence that such actions would reinvigorate solar project development and construction in the United States.
Purchasers of cells and components from companies in the affected countries should be relieved by Biden’s actions, but still should prepare for potentially delayed shipments, with a possible bottleneck of panel shipments forthcoming.