·  USW

USW Applauds Congressional Call for Action on Green Energy

Contact:   Gary Hubbard,  202-256-8125, ghubbard@usw.org;
               Wayne Ranick, 412-562-2444; wranick@usw.org

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 2) – Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers (USW) issued a statement today, commenting on a letter sent by 59 members of Congress to President Obama calling for action on Chinese clean energy protectionism.

The congressional letter highlights a recent trade case filed by the solar energy industry against China imports, following the comprehensive Section 301 trade case on alternative and renewable energy filed by the USW last year. The USW has also submitted a letter to the International Trade Commission (ITC) in support of the solar industry trade case.

Gerard statement follows:

“Today’s congressional letter to President Obama highlights the imperative of confronting China’s predatory, protectionist and illegal trade practices in the alternative and renewable energy sector. The time for dialogue has come to an end -- now is the time to put an end to their efforts to dominate this vital sector of our economy.

“Ten years ago, China ascended to the World Trade Organization (WTO) with a promise to abide by free and fair rules of trade. China continues to massively subsidize their industries, to exclude others from exporting competitive products to their markets, to require transfers of technology and engage in countless practices to the disadvantage of other trading nations. 

“Ten years is long enough to know that they have no intention of playing by the rules unless we challenge them and utilize the leverage of our market to provide a level playing field.

“Alternative and renewable energy can provide an enormous opportunity not only to promote energy security, but to also enhance environmental protection while promoting the revitalization of manufacturing and job creation.  America has been a leader in developing these technologies, but not in manufacturing the resulting products due to China’s actions.

“That’s why the Steelworkers filed a comprehensive trade case under Section 301 of our trade laws last year. President Obama and his Administration should end their review of that petition and act on the comprehensive set of issues identified in that case.  Coupled with acting on the solar products trade case, we can begin to restore the promise of green energy as an engine of economic growth and job creation here in the U.S.”

The congressional letter signed by 59 Democrats to President Obama on the serious allegations of unfair trade practices in the clean energy sector is HERE, and the USW letter supporting the domestic industry trade case against China solar imports is at:  www.usw.org/.

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