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USW wants probe of China’s clean tech

Rob Schmitz Sep 9, 2010
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USW wants probe of China’s clean tech

Rob Schmitz Sep 9, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: U.S. Steelworkers plan to file a complaint today with the Obama administration. They’re demanding a government investigation
into China’s clean tech policies. The union blames China of illegally subsidizing its
own domestic wind energy and solar panel companies, which the union says creates an unfair playing field.

Marketplace’s China bureau chief Rob Schmitz reports.


ROB SCHMITZ: Bill Dodson says when it comes to the World Trade Organization everyone should play by the same rules.

BILL DODSON: Any member of the WTO is supposed to treat both foreign-vested companies and its own domestic companies in the same manner.

Dodson, who’s an analyst with Trends Asia, has seen firsthand how China skirts these rules. Chinese clean tech companies get free land, tax breaks, and grants. He says none of these government goodies were offered to foreign competitors looking to build green energy technology in China.

DODSON: There’s a very clear movement toward making the markets less accessible, less penetrable, for foreign players.

And that’s what the U.S. Steelworkers union thinks, too. It says this type of protectionism takes jobs disappear in the U.S. clean tech sector and sends them to China. The union’s filing a case with the U.S. government. It has 45 days to decide whether to investigate. The steelworkers had some luck with this tactic in the past — last year, they persuaded President Obama to impose tariffs on Chinese tires for the same reason.

In Shanghai, I’m Rob Schmitz for Marketplace.

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