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Biden to Veto Resolution Overturning Solar Tariff Waivers for Southeast Asian Countries

Despite attempts by Congress to overturn it, US President Joe Biden is sticking with his decision to eliminate tariffs on solar panels from four countries in Southeast Asia for two years. While the US increases domestic manufacturing to meet climate change goals, Biden's decision in June 2021 to waive tariffs on solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam was intended to provide a temporary solution. Currently, these four nations supply over 80% of the solar panels used in US homes.

An initiative to abolish the tariffs is currently under progress in favor of domestic manufacturers who contend that they are required in order to compete with less expensive foreign options. The legislation is anticipated to be put to a full vote in the US House of Representatives this week after last week's committee vote in favor of reintroducing the tariffs.

However, the White House has vowed to veto the resolution if it is passed because it is strongly opposed. The administration claims that since assuming office, Biden's approach has increased domestic solar manufacturing capacity and has already shown to be effective. According to Ali Zaidi, Biden's national climate adviser, "this legislation would sabotage US energy security," undermining the nation's efforts to improve energy security and address the climate catastrophe.

Democratic co-sponsor of the resolution Representative Dan Kildee disagrees with Biden's position, pointing to China's breach of US trade regulations and the US's lack of response. According to a White House official, the US is on track to boost domestic solar panel manufacturing capacity by eight times by the end of 2024. After the two years, Biden does not intend to extend the tariff waivers because domestic manufacturing is anticipated to boom.

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