Rep. Michaud: End to China’s Wind Power Subsidies A Good First Step

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME), Chairman of the House Trade Working Group, called the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) announcement today that China has ended certain wind power equipment subsidies a good first step. Last September, Michaud and 180 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama urging his administration to take action against the subsidies, which were the subject of a petition filed with USTR by the United Steelworkers. The following month, USTR began investigating the subsides, which led the U.S. to challenge them before the World Trade Organization (WTO). “This represents a good first step that we can build on,” said Michaud. “The U.S. can and should be a global leader in clean energy, but our companies can’t compete if China doesn’t play by the rules. I’m hopeful this action will help level the playing field for our manufacturers and make it easier for them to expand and create jobs. But the U.S. must keep a close eye on China’s actions and make sure they live up to their commitment to end these subsidies.” According to the USTR, the subsidies took the form of grants to Chinese wind turbine manufacturers that agreed to use key parts and components made in China rather than purchasing imports. The United States estimated that the grants provided to Chinese companies since 2008 could have totaled several million dollars. The size of the individual grants ranged between $6.7 million and $22.5 million. Given that these types of investigations undertaken by USTR require substantial resources, Michaud recently sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting that they provide USTR with additional funding so that they have more resources to conduct trade compliance investigations and make sure China plays by the rules.