The Pot Calling the Kettle… Green?

This is rich.

HONG KONG — The United Steelworkers union filed a legal case with the Obama administration Thursday morning, accusing China of violating World Trade Organization rules by subsidizing exports of clean energy equipment to the United States.

The filing asks the Office of the United States Trade Representative to begin formal consultations with China, which would lead to proceedings at the W.T.O. in Geneva if Beijing did not agree to repeal the subsidies.

“Unless China’s policies are urgently addressed, the U.S. may never get a fair shot at making the green technologies of the future,” the filing said.

You can’t see me but I’m shaking my head. We’re filing a petition with the WTO against China for unfair export subsidies for clean energy. Put another way, China is pursuing its own unfair competitive advantage against us for stuff we’re not doing.

China’s manufacture of solar panels, wind power turbines and other clean energy products — with the strong support of its government, through land grants and low-interest loans — has turned that nation into the global leader in those markets. China has more than one million jobs in all clean energy industries combined.

Meanwhile, American and other Western manufacturers of solar and wind power equipment have struggled to compete. Some American clean energy companies have scaled back production and laid off workers, while moving operations to China.

Exasperation mine. I think this whole ‘American’ and “Chinese” set of distinctions is really old hat. Business moves at the speed of business… don’t these countries watch commercials? A communist country is out-capitalisming us. Remember: rules… Ha!

And, speaking of “Hey – you can’t do that!” How about all the wingnut kvetching on Operation burn-the-Koran? As little as a few days ago they were all-hate all-the-time, but now it’s, “we’re weren’t saying you should actually burn the holy book, No way!” Hate speech is hate speech and anti-Muslim (or anti-black, or anti-latino, or anti-Obama, or anti-tax or anti-whatever) rhetoric can escalate, so you should damn well think about that before you engage in stirring it up. Especially if you want to stake out some high ground later. If there is any.

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