2Center or American Progress | Increasing Opportunities or Chinese Direct Investment in U.S. Clean Energy
Alhough he Unied Saes and China expanded bilaeral cooperaion wih criical proj-ecs such as he Clean Energy Research Cener, hroughou Presiden Obama’s rs erm we increasingly buted heads in he rade realm. U.S. seel workers led a World radeOrganizaion peiion agains China’s wind-power equipmen subsidies in 2010; U.S.solar panel and wind urbine manuacurers led U.S. Deparmen o Commerce coun-ervailing duy peiions and anidumping peiions agains Chinese manuacurers pro-ducing hose same producs in 2011; and he American Superconducor Corporaionis sill engaged in an ongoing legal batle wih China’s Sinovel Wind Group over allegedinellecual propery he.
Tese U.S.-China clean energy rade ricions are serious, and unorunaely hey areunlikely o disappear anyime soon. China’s regime o proec inellecual propery righsis sill developing. Some local ocials in China are sill more ineresed in proecing localcompanies han in adhering o inernaional rade laws, and China’s relaive lack o admin-israive ransparency can make he resulan rade complains very hard o resolve.One area in which he Obama adminisraion has proven especially adep, however, isapproaching he U.S.-China relaionship issue by issue wihou leting rusraions onone issue spill over and impede cooperaion elsewhere. As my colleague Nina Hachigianrecenly wroe, Presiden Obama has aken a “clear-eyed, nuanced and eecive approach”oward China.
Where cooperaion makes sense, he presiden has been ready o deal. Where he eels American ineress are being harmed, he has no hesiaed o ge ough.Tis is exacly wha we will need more o in U.S.-China relaions in he clean energy sec-or. We need o coninue o keep an eye on clean energy rade o ensure ha Americancompanies have a level playing eld, bu rade ricions should no hold us back rompursuing promising opporuniies wih China in oher areas.One o our mos promising opporuniies or U.S.-China clean energy cooperaionis inward Chinese direc invesmen. Many Chinese companies wan o come o heUnied Saes, direcly inves in his counry, and creae jobs here. Ta is exacly whaour economy needs, paricularly in secors such as renewable energy generaion hagenerally do no pose naional securiy concerns and will require large amouns o invesmen capial o develop. Te problem is, however, ha we do no have a goodpolicy ramework in place o encourage hese invesmens.In Presiden Obama’s rs erm, he Whie House signaled general suppor or increas-ing Chinese direc invesmen. During Vice Presiden Joe Biden’s Augus 2011 Chinarip, or example, he vice presiden saed:
President Obama and I, we welcome, encourage and see nothing but positive benets owing fom direct investment in the United States fom Chinese businesses andChinese entities. It means jobs. It means American jobs.