Blackburn, Scott Lead Colleagues in Introducing Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act

March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced the Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act, to 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.

“As President Joe Biden’s radical Green New Deal causes demand for solar energy to increase, we will not allow Beijing to profit from abusing the human rights of the Uyghur minority,” said Senator Blackburn. “Under no circumstances should the United States Government be purchasing solar panels made with forced labor in Xinjiang.

“No taxpayer dollars should be used to prop up the Communist Party of China, which is committing a genocide against the Uyghurs under General Secretary Xi’s direction, continues to threaten our ally Taiwan and strip basic rights from Hong Kongers,” said Senator Rick Scott. “Reports show that many solar companies rely on materials and labor from Communist China’s Xinjiang province, which is known for forced labor and horrific abuse of the Uyghurs. My Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act, which prohibits the use of federal funds to buy solar panels from Communist China, sends a clear message to General Secretary Xi that the United States will not turn a blind eye to his genocide and human rights abuses.”

“Beijing has made it clear that to do business in China, you must leave American values behind,” said Senator Rubio. “As the Chinese Communist Party is actively committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities, it forces American companies to look the other way while profiting from its egregious human rights violations, including forced labor. The CCP’s crimes should not be fueled by American taxpayer dollars.”

“The Chinese Communist Party is guilty of monstrous human rights violations, and the regime’s cruelty is on full display in Xinjiang, where Uyghurs are suffering in Communist prison camps,” said Senator Kennedy. “Reports indicate Beijing relies on forced labor in Xinjiang to make solar panels—and other products—many of which it sells to the U.S. Americans should have no hand in funding the CCP’s atrocities, and the Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act would ensure that our federal dollars don’t fund the Communist Party, or any of its affiliated entities, through the purchase of solar panels.”

“The Xinjiang province of China is a major producer of the world’s solar grade polysilicon,” said Senator Capito. “Given the Chinese Communist Party’s egregious human rights violations and forced labor of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang province, it is imperative that we investigate the global supply chain for solar panels. As the demand for clean energy initiatives is growing, the federal government cannot support entities that benefit from these atrocities, especially while many have lost their jobs domestically as a result of these new energy initiatives.”

The Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act:

  • Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to 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.
  • Requires the Comptroller of the United States to submit to Congress a report on the amount of solar panels procured by Federal departments and agencies from covered entities.
  • Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to conduct an independent study of the domestic market of solar panel production and the global supply chain and workforce involved in solar panel production