Senate reports says Beijing is cheating its way to the top in green technology exports.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) chairs the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness. Since 2009, he has been investigating the competitive challenges faced by U.S. manufacturers of cutting-edge "green technology," including solar panels.
In a new report entitled "Losing the Environmental Goods Economy to China," Sen. Wyden says that China has "undertaken an aggressive strategy to capitalize on the growing market for environmental goods."
Most significantly, Wyden says that China’s green technology industries are experiencing "rapid growth" due in large part to "violation of norms and rules of international trade."
Some key findings:
- Driven by rising imports from China, the overall U.S. deficit in environmental goods grew by 87 percent.
- Exports of solar cells and modules from China to the U.S. grew by over 300 percent by volume. (Taking the U.S. from a nearly $2 billion trade surplus in solar energy products in 2010 to over $1.5 billion deficit in 2011.)
- U.S. imports of utility scale wind towers from China grew by over 100 percent.
- In each of the largest and fastest-growing markets throughout the world, U.S. exporters of environmental goods are rapidly losing market share to China.
- Between the years 2005 and 2010, China’s market share of environmental goods in the EU, the biggest regional market for such products, increased sevenfold (to 21 percent), while U.S. market share shrank during the same period.
- In other regional export markets of environmental goods, Chinese market share generally doubled (Africa, Asia, and Middle East) or tripled (NAFTA, Latin America).
- EU and Japanese exporters of environmental goods are also losing market share to China in most major markets in the world.
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