The United Steelworkers filed a complaint with U.S. trade officials Thursday charging that China is unfairly subsidizing its clean-energy technology sector, presenting the White House with a potential political headache ahead of congressional elections in November.
The union's 5,800-page brief asks U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to take action against China's efforts to build its green-technology manufacturing, from compact fluorescent light bulbs to wind turbines.
China has used "hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies, performance requirements, preferential practices and other trade-illegal activities to advance its domination of the sector," the USW said in a statement.
However consider the plight of Evergreen Solar. They are now a penny stock.
Whereas the environmentalists and the unions make the case that solar power is the way forward for American manufacturing - it appears that their vision is more of what they hope for one day than what the market actually bears out. Ironically even Evergreen is planning to move its manufacturing operations to China.
Here is the state of the market in Europe:
Attention has recently been focused on solar power following the success of the government's new feed-in tariff which has led to a steep increase in the number of solar panels being installed by householders.
This hasn't necessarily translated into good news for UK manufacturers: Oxfordshire-based PV Crystalox (PVCS), for instance, reported a sharp drop in first-half profit last month, hurt by a 'competitive trading environment' that triggered a 40% reduction in prices, despite improved demand. Shares are roughly 30% down since the beginning of the year.
Why isn't anyone investigating the notion that solar power panel manufacturing is a viable "growth" industry?