The US has accused China of illegally subsidising the production of wind power equipment and asked for talks at the World Trade Organisation, the first step in filing a trade case.
“These subsidies effectively operate as a barrier to US exports to China,” US trade representative Ron Kirk said in a statement. The announcement is in response to a petition filed in September by the United Steelworkers (USW) accusing Beijing of a long list of trade-distorting policies. It comes about a month before a visit by China’s president, Hu Jintao, to Washington for talks with Barack Obama for talks with Barack Obama.
The industrial union accused Beijing of a long list of subsidies and other trade-distorting policies to favour the manufacture of clean energy technologies in China, at the expense of the US and other producers.
The steelworkers’s so-called “section 301” petition included a complaint about China’s restrictions on rare earth minerals used in production of wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells and energy efficient lighting.
USTR announced no decision on that issue.
“We will continue to work closely with the USW and other stakeholders in the months ahead on the remaining allegations. If we are able to develop sufficient evidence to support those allegations and they can be effectively addressed through WTO litigation, we will pursue the enforcement of our rights at the WTO independently of section 301,” Kirk said.
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