President Biden issued a warning to Congress on Monday, expressing his intent to use his veto power for the third time. This time, he is prepared to veto legislation aimed at maintaining trade tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels. The Biden Administration had suspended those tariffs.
The president’s first veto was to halt Congress’s efforts to end environmental, social, and governance (ESG) preference policies for retirement funds. His second veto was against Congress’s attempt to block his expansion of the definition of federal government-controlled waterways.
President Biden has made it clear that solar imports from China, even if laundered through other countries, will not be subject to U.S. trade laws. The bill is scheduled for a vote in the House this week, after the House Ways and Means Committee approved the resolution last week.
The president’s budget office has emphasized that halting tariffs on China-produced solar panels is crucial to his green energy goals. The White House stated, “Passage of this joint resolution would undermine these efforts and create deep uncertainty for jobs and investments in the solar supply chain and the solar installation market. The Commerce rule provides a short-term bridge to ensure there is a thriving U.S. solar installation industry ready to purchase the solar products that will be made in these American factories once they are operational.”
But Biden is ignoring the inconvenient truth that the solar panels are being made by slaves. Last fall, Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General, expressing concerns about solar panels produced in China using slave labor.
China currently dominates global solar panel production, with 78% of solar cells produced in 2019 coming from China, a country considered by many Americans to be an adversary. A Gallup poll in March revealed that 50% of Americans view China as the nation’s greater enemy, with most of the rest (32%) naming Russia.
A 2021 report in The New York Times corroborates that solar products made for the U.S. market are indeed sourced from slave labor and human rights atrocities.