New Hampshire, U.S.A. — President Obama for the first time Tuesday weighed in on the growing divide between American and Chinese solar panel and cell manufacturers, saying that there are “questionable competitive practices coming out of China.”
Obama referenced the international trade case filed by the U.S. division of SolarWorld, which has America’s largest manufacturing operation in Oregon, during an interview with Portland-based KGW NewsChannel 8.
In the clip, news anchor Tracy Barry asks, “SolarWorld is one of our companies in Oregon, and they are accusing China of dumping solar panels in the United States. Would you be willing to look at any kind of actions, tariffs, whatever, to protect those green jobs in the U.S.?”
Obama answered: “We have seen a lot of questionable competitive practices coming out of China when it comes to the clean energy space, and I have been more aggressive than previous administrations in enforcing our trade laws. We have filed actions against them when we see these kinds of dumping activities, and we’re going to look very carefully at this stuff and potentially bring actions if we find that the basic rules of the road have been violated.”
Gordon Brinser, president of Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America Inc., said Obama’s remarks validated concerns that China has been violating U.S. and world trade laws at the expense of U.S. domestic clean-technology employers and jobs.
SolarWorld filed the trade complaint on behalf of six unnamed American companies. The seven companies now make up the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing.