Senate Votes To Bring Back China Tariffs That Biden Blocked

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night to reinstate tariffs on Chinese solar panels that are, in some cases, manufactured by Uyghur slaves.

Nine Democrats joined with 47 Republicans to support Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s Congressional Review Act resolution, which would block a Biden administration moratorium on tariffs targeting four Southeast Asian countries. Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are helping some Chinese firms evade tariffs, the Commerce Department found in Dec. 2022, making them subject to retaliatory tariffs set at 254 percent. Earlier that year, Biden had announced a tariff moratorium on solar panels.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can pass resolutions of disapproval to block executive orders, but the resolutions are subject to presidential veto. Congress has already passed one resolution under the act targeting the Labor Department’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing rule. Biden used the first veto of his term on the ESG resolution and has promised to veto the solar panel resolution as well.

Republican Florida Rep. Bill Posey’s companion resolution passed the House 221-202, with 209 Republicans and 12 Democrats supporting it. 194 Democrats and eight Republicans voted against it. (RELATED: Bipartisan Bill Would End Biden’s ‘Unacceptable’ Move To Block Tariffs On Chinese Solar Imports)

“Communist China’s solar panel manufacturing is based on slave and child labor, government subsidies and trade abuses. Today, in a bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate affirmed that the United States will never tolerate a hostile takeover of our industries and will always stand against slave and child labor,” Scott said in a statement. “Today’s vote is good for American jobs, protects U.S. national security and holds accountable those who commit horrific human rights abuses. When you break American trade laws and use slave labor, you pay the price.

“I want to thank all my colleagues who supported this CRA and Congressman Bill Posey for his hard work getting it passed in the House of Representatives. Now, this CRA heads to the president’s desk, and I urge President Biden to sign it and stand up to Communist China,” he added.