Did anyone of you read this article about the U.S. union that is accusing China of unfairly subsidizing clean energy technologies?
The short story is that the Chinese government has been subsidizing the development and production of these technologies for its domestic companies. Then these companies have been able to sell its products at a lower cost and still make a profit. Apparently, the Chinese companies have begun to sell the products such as wind turbines and solar panels at below cost to U.S. companies. The argument is that this action is hurting certain U.S. industries.
So I can understand how certain sectors of the U.S. economy would lose out due to the low prices of the Chinese companies, such as the manufacturing industry. However, it is hard to wrap my brain around the fact that people would rather have the Chinese selling at higher prices. It's not as if clean energy is bad for anyone. In fact, it seems like other sectors of the U.S. economy would be greatly benefited from a cheap source of clean energy. Becoming less dependent on fossil fuels and foreign suppliers of oil seems like a win-win situation because it helps ease pollution and lower dependency on oil.
The Chinese government is doing a good deed by granting these subsidies. Maybe the U.S. government should also subsidize its own companies so they won't be undercut by competition? Maybe it should move some of the tax dollars from inefficient agricultural subsidies? Really, there is no price too low for clean energy supplies. In the long run, the U.S. economy overall will benefit because other companies and consumers will have access to cheap clean energy.
The problem with switching to clean energy is the initial start-up cost of getting the equipment - afterwards, besides maintenance costs, there is basically a free flow of energy. From this angle, it definitely seems like Chinese manufacturers are helping U.S. companies get a hold of cheap supplies that will drastically lower their costs in the future, even if the Chinese companies only have economic motivations. I mean, hypothetically, what if the Chinese government just started giving us free wind turbines and solar panels? Would we still have the same reaction?
I don't know. I am definitely far from an expert in this field and there may be many issues that I am forgetting or don't understand. This is just my gut reaction to all the uproar over the incident. What do you think? Do I have a valid point or am I misunderstanding some fundamental principle?