Official blasts U.S. 301 probe of Chinese clean energy policies

08:05, November 04, 2010      

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A senior official with the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCIC) said Wednesday the United States has launched the wrong probe at the wrong time into the policies and practices by China in its green technology sector, as now is the "best time" for bilateral cooperation in the sector.

The denunciation of the 301 probe by Lin Shunjie, CCIC deputy secretary general, came after the U.S. government decided to initiate an investigation on Oct. 15 into China's policies and practices in the clean energy industry, acting upon a petition filed in September by the United Steelworkers union.

The union claimed the massive subsidies and discriminatory policies by China were shutting U.S. businesses out of China's renewable energy market and causing job losses in the United States. These charges come amidst worries that U.S. protectionist measures against its trade partners might be on the rise due to its sluggish economic recovery.

However, Lin Shunjie said government subsidies in the United States to protect its clean energy industry were more extensive than those in China, adding the United States should reevaluate its subsidy policies and to especially benefit small and medium-sized companies.

Further, Lin suggested the U.S. government increase the channels of financing for these small-scale companies in order to improve their competence in trade, rather than accuse other countries.

"The competence of small and medium-sized renewable energy companies in the United States is far behind those in Europe, Japan, and even Australia," said Lin, "while the Chinese market is open and is willing to import more products from overseas."

Lin added that China had a trade platform for imported goods exhibitions in Shanghai, but so far very few U.S. companies have reached deals. "The U.S. government has not done enough in helping its enterprises increase their exports."

The next five to 10 years would be the period when China and the United States see technology transfers and heightened inter-dependence of markets, Lin said while attending a conference held in Beijing on Wednesday.



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