A U.S. inquiry into whether China\’s support for clean energy manufacturers may breach trade rules reflects an ill-founded grab for votes, Chinese state newspapers said this week, pressing Beijing\’s counter-attack.
The sector of wind, solar and other environmentally-friendly power technology has become a new focus for trade tension after the United States agreed last week investigate a labour union\’s allegations that China subsidises and protects producers in violation of World Trade Organisation rules.
That investigation could lead to a trade complaint.
Chinese government officials have already rejected the case as groundless and protectionist, and the country\’s top official newspaper, the People\’s Daily, has joined the fray.
\”This so-called investigation by the United States won\’t stand up,\” said the paper, the main mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party. It said repercussions could follow, but did not specify what they might be.
\”If the United States persists in giving China a hard time over development of the clean energy sector, ultimately the U.S. won\’t be able to avoid tasting its own bitter fruit.\”
The U.S. probe was announced on the same day that the Treasury Department said it was putting off for at least one month a report on whether China is manipulating its yuan currency to give it an unfair trade advantage.
The newspaper said the clean energy dispute was, along with the currency row and other trade frictions, the result of U.S. domestic political pressures ahead of mid-term elections for Congress.
\”Just like the renminbi exchange rate issue, China\’s rapid development of its clean energy sector has been deliberately stirred up as an issue by U.S. interest groups and their political proxies,\” it said.
\”They\’re most concerned about gaining more votes in the mid-term elections.\”
The renminbi is another name for the yuan.
The separate overseas edition of the People\’s Daily said China should ready itself for more trade fights with Washington.
\”As the United States furthers its strategy of reviving manufacturing and expanding exports, new forms of trade friction will constantly arise between China and the U.S.\”, it said.