A group of the largest steelmakers in the U.S. and the United Steelworkers union sent a joint letter Tuesday to the Treasury Department criticizing a Biden administration policy that could allow tax incentives to help Chinese steel manufacturers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In the letter, the United Steelworkers union and top steel companies criticized the Treasury Department’s proposal to grant a bonus tax credit for green energy projects that rely on U.S.-made metal and components due to the policy leaving space for solar panel firms to use foreign steel for certain key components and still qualify for the 10% tax credit, according to the WSJ. China is the world’s biggest producer of steel and is a major supplier of products involved with green energy, like solar panels. (RELATED: China Hacked Top State Dept Officials’ Emails Ahead Of John Kerry’s Climate Meeting In Beijing: REPORT)
“If the current Guidance were to be made final, it would significantly damage U.S. domestic steel producers, putting at risk 1.5 million tons of production and jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of Americans who depend on our industry,” the companies and union said in the letter, according to the WSJ. “Categorization of tracking systems as manufactured products would permit many of the structural steel components of new solar projects in the U.S. to be imported from China.”
The key concern in the letter is the classification of the mechanism that orients the solar panels towards the sun following its movement, called a photovoltaic tracker, according to the WSJ. The Treasury defines the photovoltaic tracker as a “manufactured product,” excluding it from requirements put in place to use domestic steel.
The proposal from the Treasury Department follows the Biden administration’s push for green energy subsidies through the Inflation Reduction Act, which analysts from Goldman Sachs say will cost $1.2 trillion in tax breaks for green energy.
President Biden has sought to gain the support of major unions, following a pledge to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen” the night before the 2020 election. Biden has made several pro-union moves, such as pushing for the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which Republicans have criticized as forcing unionization on workers, and signing an executive order in April 2021 to investigate how to increase union membership.
The United Steelworkers and the Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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