US Crackdown On Chinese Slave Labor Is Devastating The Solar Industry

Towmotor driver Corey Reid transports solar panels at the assembly line at the First Solar manufacturing plant, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Walbridge, Ohio. First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive PV solar systems using advanced module and system technology. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

At a glance

  • Axios reports that the federal government has seized thousands of Chinese solar imports that were made using the slave labor of Uyghur Muslims, placing heavy constraints on the U.S. solar industry.
  • Customs and Border Patrol officials impounded 2,600 Chinese imports that mostly consisted of solar panels worth $806 million from October 2022 to January 2023 because the deliveries were in violation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), Axios reported.
  • The UFLPA, which was signed into law in December 2021 to stop the alleged exploitation of Uyghurs, has severely limited the number of solar products coming into the U.S., raising costs and delaying large solar projects.
  • “I have seen developers and investors revising solar module costs up by 30-40%,” Xu Chen, a senior director at FTI Consulting, told Axios.

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