Upon learning that American Superconductor (AMSC) has accused its largest customer of intellectual property theft, one couldn't help but well up with nostalgia for the halcyon days of 2008, when Wall Street barely knew the name "Sinovel," the naysayers roundly scoffed at the possibility that AMSC would derive any significant revenue from supplying electronics and other sophisticated components to the wind turbine industry in China, and nearly everyone was incredulous that China had embarked on the development of "wind farms of a magnitude never before seen on earth."

The souring of the AMSC/Sinovel relationship is a microcosm of the continuing growing pains in the U.S.-China economic and trade relationship, which is sorely in need of attention.