U.S. Customs Seizes Solar Panels Made in China

U.S. Customs Seizes Solar Panels Made in China

The United States Customs and Border Protection agency reports it has seized solar panels from three Chinese-based manufacturers as part of a Biden Administration crackdown on products made through forced labor in China.

The move comes after an announcement in June that the U.S. will work with other G7 countries to stand against forced labor in the Xinjiang province, where China is accused of engaging in human rights abuses and forced labor of the Uyghur population. The Xinjiang province makes many of the raw materials used in solar products.

Customs and Border Protection took panels made by Hoshine Silicon and JinkoSolar, along with panels made by Canadian Solar, which is based in Canada but has manufacturing happening in China.

The Biden Administration stressed that despite the seizure of the solar products, it remains committed to a clean energy program, with a goal of using solar energy for 40% of the country’s power by 2035. Currently, solar produces about 3%. As the U.S. Customs Department stated in June, the Chinese manufacturers who are using forced labor to produce solar products, “…leave American businesses and workers to compete on an uneven playing field by allowing firms to gain advantage over their competitors by exploiting workers and artificially suppressing wages. The United States will not tolerate forced labor in our supply chains and will continue to stand up for our values and for U.S. workers and businesses.”

The solar companies have 90 days to prove that forced labor was not used for the products seized. However, one analyst believes the chance of that happening is “very low”.

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