Group of House Republicans join Democrats in opposing tariffs on China

April 29, 2023

A group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives joined with a majority of their Democratic House colleagues to support President Joe Biden's suspension of tariffs on China-made solar panels, Breitbart News reports

This, however, was not enough to stop the rest of the House from passing a measure to reverse Biden's tariff suspension.

The final vote, according to the Associated Press, was 221 to 202. 12 House Democrats actually joined up with 209 House Republicans to pass the measure.

The eight House Republicans to join the Democrats in opposing the measure are:

Reps. John Curtis (R-UT), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Nicholas LaLota (R-NY), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Thomas Massie (R-KY),  Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), and Rep. Marcus Molinaro (R-NY).

Background

It was in June 2022 that Biden announced that he would be placing a 24-month moratorium on tariffs on solar panel imports from four Asian countries: Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Although this is ostensibly where the solar panels come from, the Department of Commerce believes that the solar panels actually originate from China but that China has sent the panels to these countries in an effort to avoid U.S. tariffs on China-made solar panels.

In other words, the commerce department found that trade violations have likely occurred. And, as a result, this led to delays and cancellations of many solar projects in the U.S.

Biden, in response, has sought to suspend the tariffs on China because, in his view, it is "necessary to satisfy the demand for reliable and clean energy."

The point of the Republican-led effort is to restore the tariffs on China, and, in the process, to protect U.S. jobs and workers from unfair competition from China.

Looking ahead

Now, the measure that was just passed by the House - reversing Biden's tariff suspension - will head over to the Senate.

There, it also has a chance of passing. As the Associate Press reports, in the upper chamber, "lawmakers from both parties have expressed similar concerns about what many call unfair competition from China."

Assuming that it does pass through the Senate, the measure would then head to Biden to be signed into law.

Biden, however, has already made it clear that he plans to veto the measure should it make it to his desk. And, it does not appear, at the moment, that there would be enough support in Congress to overcome a presidential veto.

Accordingly, it does not appear that the measure will become law, meaning that Biden's tariff suspension will continue. Like many other things that the Biden administration has done, it's another win for China.


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