Kaptur, Latta support trade law tariff resolution

Larry Limpf

News Editor
Two area members of Congress voted in favor of a resolution that disapproves the Biden Administration’s two-year suspension of import tariffs on companies that funnel solar cells and modules made in China through four southeast Asian countries, circumventing U.S. trade laws.
Representatives Marcy Kaptur, D – 9th District, and Bob Latta, R – 5th District, supported the resolution, which passed in a recent roll call vote, 221 for to 202 against.
House Joint Resolution 39 would roll back a regulation that suspends tariffs on solar imports from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
The rule is in effect until mid-2024.
In released statements, Kaptur and Latta noted that the U.S. Department of Commerce announced in late 2022, after a months-long preliminary investigation, it had determined that four companies are circumventing the tariffs by moving solar cells and modules through the four Asian countries.
By suspending tariffs on solar cells and modules from Southeast Asia, the Biden Administration has given the Peoples Republic of China a pass to flagrantly flout U.S. trade laws, undercut American manufacturers, and harm American workers, Rep. Kaptur said.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can repeal rules enacted by the executive branch if they were enacted within 60 legislative days of the end of the last legislative session.
“Our bipartisan joint resolution seeks to roll back this administration’s decision to exempt tariffs on solar panels manufactured in Southeast Asia, and I look forward to seeing it across the finish line so we can put American manufacturers first and hold Communist China accountable for its use of forced labor and unfair trade practices,” Rep. Latta said.
Rep. Kaptur said “heavy government subsidies, forced labor, and cheap coal” enable China to dump solar cells and modules on the U.S. market at “artificially low prices.”
“After a thorough, transparent, and data-driven investigation of eight companies across the four countries, Commerce preliminarily found that four of the eight companies being investigated are attempting to bypass U.S. duties by doing minor processing in one of the Southeast Asian countries before shipping to the United States,” a Dec. 27, 2022 statement by the commerce department says.
The preliminary findings indicate that in Cambodia the company BYD Hong Kong was circumventing trade law; in Thailand, Canadian Solar and Trina were circumventing; and in Vietnam Vina Solar was circumventing.
In addition, some companies in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam didn’t respond to the commerce department’s request for information and are considered to be circumventing.
The presidential proclamation was issued June 6, 2022, and stipulates that duties will not be collected on any solar module and cell imports from the four countries until June 2024, as long as the imports are consumed in the U.S. market within six months of the termination of the proclamation.
The proclamation went into effect in November, 2022.


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