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Swing State Democrats Call Out Biden for 'Harming American Workers' with Tariff Waivers for China


Swing State Democrats Call Out Biden for 'Harming American Workers' with Tariff Waivers for China

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA) are demanding President Joe Biden rescind his tariff waivers for suspected Chinese companies accused of filtering solar panels through other countries to evade United States trade rules. In June 2022, Biden announced a 24-month tariff moratorium on solar panel imports from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Commerce Department officials suspect that the solar panels are actually made in China but have been routed through the four southeast Asian nations to avoid U.S. tariffs on China-made solar panels.

The tariff moratorium came even as the Commerce Department found that BYD Hong Kong rerouted its production through Cambodia, Canadian Solar and Trina through Thailand, and Vina Solar through Vietnam for the sole purpose of avoiding the tariffs. Brown and Casey, in a letter to Biden, are urging him to reverse the tariff waivers, writing that “circumvention of U.S. trade law is indisputably happening, and it is harming American workers and industry.” Workers install solar panels at the construction site of a photovoltaic power station in Zhangye in northwest China’s Gansu province Thursday, June 16, 2022. (XUE LEI/ Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images) “U.S. trade laws are designed to protect our domestic market from unfair trade practices and, now that Department of Commerce has established preliminary evidence of circumvention, we urge their strong enforcement,” Brown and Casey write: This kind of trade cheating comes at the expense of American workers, consumers, small businesses, and more. China’s trade cheating has driven many innovative manufacturers out of business because they cannot compete with the predatory prices offered by government-subsidized Chinese competitors. [Emphasis added] Today, about 80 percent of solar panels installed in the U.S. are made in China or by Chinese companies. “This dependence is unsustainable and could pose future supply chain security issues,” the senators write. “... [W]e urge the administration to fully enforce U.S. trade remedies and to terminate the suspension of tariffs where the Department of Commerce finds evidence of circumvention.” In January, a group of House Republicans and Democrats introduced legislation to reverse Biden’s tariff waivers for the China-linked solar companies. From 2001 to 2018, U.S. free trade with China eliminated 3.7 million American jobs from the economy — 2.8 million of which were lost in American manufacturing. During that same period, at least 50,000 American manufacturing plants closed down. Those massive job losses have coincided with a booming U.S.-China trade deficit. In 1985, before China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $6 billion. In 2019, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled more than $345 billion. While skyrocketing U.S. trade deficits have led to devastation across America’s working- and middle-class communities over the last two decades, tariffs would be a boon for reshoring jobs and boosting wages, studies show. A recent study from economists at the Coalition for a Prosperous America, for instance, finds that tariffs on nearly all foreign imports would create about ten million American jobs while boosting domestic output. John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here. .

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