Clean Energy Policies by China Prompt US Inquiry
Clean Energy Policies by China Prompt US Inquiry

China's clean energy policies are being investigated by US trade officials. Above, a worker lifts a solar panel in the Yingli Solar factory, in Baoding, Hebei province, China in September. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
China's clean energy policies are being investigated by US trade officials. Above, a worker lifts a solar panel in the Yingli Solar factory, in Baoding, Hebei province, China in September. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Clean energy policies by China will be investigated by U.S. trade officials, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced in a statement on Friday.

The assertions originated from a request filed last month by the United Steelworkers union (USW) to investigate China’s clean energy policies. U.S. authorities will now decide whether or not the accusations are serious enough to be relayed to the WTO.

“The USW has raised issues covering a wide array of Chinese government policies affecting trade and investment in green technologies. This is a vitally important sector for the United States,” US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said.

The U.S. alleges that Chinese policies violate World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations by unfairly discriminating against foreign firms and giving preferential treatment to Chinese producers of green technology. 

China employs a wide range of World Trade Organization (WTO)-inconsistent policies that protect and unfairly support its domestic producers of wind and solar energy products, advanced batteries and energy-efficient vehicles, among other products, according to a USTR statement.

“We take the USW’s claims very seriously, and we are vigorously investigating them,” Kirk said. 

“I have asked my staff to utilize the 90-day period allowed by statute to thoroughly examine and verify the USW’s claims. For those allegations that are supported by sufficient evidence and that can effectively be addressed through WTO dispute settlement, we will vigorously pursue the enforcement of our rights through WTO litigation.”

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