Last week, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Rick Scott and Marco Rubio–brought back a proposal to ensure federal funds are not used to buy solar panels made in China.
Scott reintroduced the “Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act,” which will “prohibit federal funds from being used to buy solar panels manufactured or assembled in Communist China, specifically the Xinjiang province, which is known for its use of forced labor.” He first introduced the bill in March 2021.
Rubio is co-sponsoring the measure. Other backers include U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo.
“Communist China is not our friend. Xi runs a murderous regime and every dollar spent there helps fund their genocide and efforts to undermine the United States and our economy. My bill, the Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act, takes the needed step of withholding federal funds from being used to buy solar panels manufactured or assembled in Communist China. We must work to fully decouple our supply chains and end our reliance on products from Communist China. That’s the only way to truly build American independence and self-sufficiency, and bring economic growth back to the U.S. As President Biden bends over backward to appease dictators, Congress must take this opportunity to force accountability and take action to do what Biden won’t – starting with passing this bill today,” Scott said.
“Beijing has made it clear that to do business in China, you must leave American values behind,” said Rubio. “As the Chinese Communist Party is actively committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim groups the Party forces American companies and stakeholders to look the other way while profiting from its egregious human rights violations, including slave labor. The CCP’s crimes should not be fueled by American taxpayer dollars.”
The bill would have the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) “develop standards and guidelines to prohibit federal funds from being used to purchase solar panels manufactured or assembled by entities with ties to the Communist Party of China” and have the U.S. comptroller report to Congress on how many solar panels the federal government buys from China. The bill would also have the OMB examine the supply chain for solar panels.
Scott’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
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