Monday, September 13, 2010

Hoffa gives China what for

It's bad enough that millions of American jobs have gone to China, but now China wants to prevent us from replacing them in growing industries.

Jim Hoffa has a few things to say about that. In today's Huffington Post, Hoffa says China is beating us in clean-energy manufacturing:

China has a million people working in its clean energy industry. It makes half the world's wind turbines, supplies half the world's hydropower projects and fabricates three-quarters of the world's compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of solar paneling and wind turbines are cutting jobs and closing factories in the United States.

Hoffa says China isn't playing fair:

... the Chinese government has spent hundreds of billions of
dollars in subsidized loans and cheap land deals to promote their clean-energy industry illegally.

China also breaks the rules by severely restricting the export of rare earth materials essential for renewable-energy technology. That forces
foreign clean-energy manufacturers to move to China in order to get access to the rare earth.

Once there, China illegally requires foreign manufacturers to transfer their technology to Chinese partners. That means research and development paid for by U.S. taxpayers ends up in China, creating Chinese jobs.

It gets even worse. China sells its products overseas at artificially low prices. Every day, the Chinese government spends $1 billion a day on currency in order to make Chinese products more affordable to
the rest of the world...

There's no point in spending U.S. taxpayers' money on renewable energy technology if it ends up in Chinese hands, Hoffa says. The solution?

Our brothers and sisters at the United Steel Workers are prodding the government to take action against China. Last week they filed a 5,800-page petition asking the U.S. Trade Representative to restrain China from five sets of unfair policies and practices. ... The U.S. government should bring this case before the World Trade Organization.