President Biden vetoed a decision that may have reinstated tariffs on photo voltaic panels imported from some Southeast Asian international locations, saying the decision would undermine his administration’s efforts to construct a strong home photo voltaic provide chain.

The decision, handed by the Home and Senate in a bipartisan vote, would have repealed a Commerce Division rule that suspended tariffs on photo voltaic panels imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The rule went into impact in November, after Biden in June ordered tariffs on photo voltaic panels from these Southeast Asian international locations to be waived for 2 years.

Tariff waivers had been geared toward addressing the scarcity of photo voltaic modules that threatened US photo voltaic tasks whereas permitting america to construct up its home solar energy manufacturing capability. The White Home mentioned final yr that about three-quarters of photo voltaic modules imported into the US in 2020 got here from Southeast Asia.

In his veto letter on Tuesday, Biden mentioned his administration’s plan is working, noting that 51 new and expanded photo voltaic gear vegetation have been introduced since he took workplace and that a number of different non-public firms have dedicated to growing its manufacturing amenities for the manufacturing of photo voltaic panels.

“America is now on monitor to extend its home photo voltaic panel capability eightfold by the top of my first time period,” Biden wrote. However this manufacturing is not going to seem on-line in a single day. The Division of Commerce Rule helps U.S. photo voltaic companies and staff and helps present sufficient, clear, and dependable electrical energy for American households whereas persevering with to carry our buying and selling companions accountable.”

Biden additionally mentioned he has no intention of renewing the Commerce Division rule after it expires in June 2024.

The Home of Representatives handed the decision final month by a vote of 221 to 202, with 12 Democrats and a majority of Republicans voting in favor. The Senate handed the decision earlier this month by a vote of 56 to 41, with 9 Democrats aligned with all Republicans besides the senator. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) to assist him. The decision was handed beneath the Congressional Overview Act, which permits Congress to override federal company guidelines by a easy majority vote.

The Photo voltaic Power Producers Affiliation, which represents greater than 1,000 photo voltaic vitality firms, instantly referred to as on Biden to veto the decision after it was handed by Congress, and on Tuesday praised Biden’s actions.

“President Biden’s veto helped protect our nation’s clear vitality progress and prevented passage of a invoice that may have eradicated 30,000 U.S. jobs, together with 4,000 solar energy jobs,” SEIA President Abigail Ross Hopper mentioned in an announcement. . “This motion is a affirmation of the administration’s dedication to sure companies within the clear vitality sector and a sign for firms to proceed to create jobs, enhance home manufacturing capability, and spend money on American communities.”

Republicans and Democrats who backed the decision argued that China needs to be punished for circumventing tariffs by transport its merchandise by way of Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, in line with preliminary findings from the Commerce Division investigation.

Finally, Biden argued that the decision would hurt the event of photo voltaic vitality in america.

“The passage of this decision stakes towards American innovation,” Biden wrote in his veto letter. It could undermine these efforts and create deep uncertainty for US companies and staff within the photo voltaic business. Due to this fact, I’m vetoing this decision.”

Maxine Joselow contributed to this report.