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Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Legislation to Strengthen American Solar Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) introduced the Ensuring America Gets Legitimate Energy Sourced, Originating, and Leased at Home Reliably Act (EAGLE SOLAR) Act, legislation that expands Buy American rules to solar purchase power agreements, ensuring that the solar panels that power the federal government are made in America by American workers, not in Chinese coal-fired power plants by Uyghur forced labor. 

Currently, Buy American provisions apply to solar panel procurement, but not to panels used for purchase power agreements, which is the primary method the government pays for solar power. This bill closes that loophole, investing in domestic solar manufacturing companies and workers. 

Original cosponsors of the EAGLE SOLAR Act include Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and Peter DeFazio (OR-04).

“The solar panels that power American homes and businesses should be made in America by American workers, not by a human-rights-abusing communist government hell bent on undermining our workforce,” said Congressman Ryan. “If we want to meet the moment on climate change, reinvest in our communities, and dominate the industries of the future, we need to have the guts to take on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and close the loopholes that have enabled years of abusive trade practices. My legislation does just that, all while incentivizing growth in this key sector and leveling the playing field for Ohio workers, businesses, and the entire American solar industry.” 

“American workers and American companies must be the ones who power America. The EAGLE SOLAR Act will cement Ohio’s role as a hub of solar innovation and support living wage jobs for hardworking men and women throughout the industry,” said Congresswoman Kaptur.

“As one of the two actual U.S. manufacturers of solar panels, we strongly support EAGLE SOLAR as a means to secure our energy future,” said Aaron Bates, Chairman & Chief Executive of Toledo Solar. “We must prevent our solar industry from being dominated by products from China and other countries that use slave labor and violate U.S. trade laws.  We thank Representatives Ryan and Kaptur for their leadership in ensuring that the taxpayer dollars support the solar technology developed, manufactured, and deployed right here in the U.S. and by our allies.” 

“Closing this ‘Buy American’ loophole is critical to ensuring that American solar powers the federal government. We applaud Congressman Ryan’s leadership on this issue,” said Samantha Sloan, VP of Global Policy for First Solar.

“On behalf of CPA and our members, we applaud Representative Ryan for introducing this critical legislation to boost American solar manufacturing,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America. “Importantly, this bill will close a loophole that allows China’s government-subsidized solar manufacturers that use forced labor and dirty coal-fired power plants to exploit the Buy American Act — a loophole that the Biden administration has shown no interest in addressing.” 

The United States currently leads the world in solar technology innovation, yet 80% of the world’s solar panels are currently made in China. Through a combination of lax environmental standards, the use of forced labor in the Xinjiang region, targeted subsidies, and other predatory trade practices such as dumping, circumvention, and intellectual property theft, China has engaged in unfair trade for years against American competitors. 

Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s recent decision to suspend solar import tariffs for 24 months will be detrimental to our domestic solar industry, enabling the CCP to continue to flood the U.S. market with cheap Chinese solar panels, smothering our domestic solar industry. The EAGLE SOLAR Act is critically needed to end our dependence on the CCP for solar manufacturing, put American workers first, and preserve our economic, energy, and national security.

Full article can be found HERE.

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