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Chairman Smith Opening Statement: Markup of H.J.R. 39, Congressional Review Act Legislation on Solar Tariffs

April 19, 2023

As prepared for delivery.

“Before we begin, I’d like to take a moment to mention our colleague Dan Kildee who cannot be with us today as he is recovering from surgery related to his recent cancer diagnosis. Dan is a valuable member of this committee and his absence will be felt – particularly today as we take up a piece of legislation of which Dan is an original cosponsor. We wish Dan a swift recovery and look forward to having him back with us.


“As recently as this past December, the U.S. Commerce Department determined that China is circumventing tariffs on imports by shipping solar products through Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Since 2012, the United States has imposed higher tariffs on most solar imports from China to provide a level playing field for American manufacturers, and the Commerce Department determined that Chinese companies are shipping products through these four countries to avoid those very tariffs. This is further evidence of China’s ongoing trade abuses. American workers and consumers are being cheated by this behavior and deserve the Committee’s action today that protects them.


“Unfortunately, months before the Commerce Department’s determination, the White House made a misguided decision to remove the additional tariffs on Chinese solar products routed through those four countries, for the next two years. That has sent a signal that there will be less, not more accountability for unfair trade practices that have given China a dominant position in solar panel production despite longstanding American innovation in this sector.


“That is why this committee is acting today to reverse that decision. Advancing House Joint Resolution 39, Congressional Review Act Legislation on Solar Tariffs, will reverse the White House proclamation that has allowed more unfair solar imports from China into the United States.


“Today’s resolution is an important step to ensure the United States maintains crucial protections for American workers and our economy as a whole.


“I would like to thank the many sponsors of this resolution on both sides of the aisle. I appreciate that concern for China’s behavior is shared by so many of us, and I hope this is the first of several bipartisan things we can work together on as it relates to confronting the continued threat China poses on so many fronts. Members of the Ways and Means Committee clearly recognize that Congress must act in this instance to hold accountable bad actors in global trade and, in particular, Chinese wrongdoing.


“I am pleased that today we can act in a bipartisan way to protect and defend American workers.”