Remember Those Green Jobs? Might Label Them Made in China

Remember all of those green jobs hyped up during campaigns that would save the economy?

Remember how we learned 84% of Stimulus money for green jobs went offshore?

We have a new added dimension. China is subsidizing it's green industries unfairly.

The U.S. Steelworkers made a trade compliant about China and the Obama administration took it on:

All praise from here for President Obama’s courageous decision Friday to proceed with an investigation of China’s opportunistic and illegal trade practices in the clean energy sector. Those of us dedicated to supporting U.S. workers, U.S. jobs and U.S. manufacturing owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.

The Administration deserves a tremendous amount of credit for considering this case on its merits, rather than letting some overarching philosophy dictate the outcome. Demonstrating a willingness to challenge China’s cheating could make a huge difference for American workers and businesses in the clean energy manufacturing sector. And if the Administration’s efforts with China are successful, the ultimate result will be more American jobs.

Friday’s decision, announced by United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, was in response to a United Steelworkers (USW) Section 301 unfair trade complaint against China. In his announcement, Kirk said, “We take the USW’s claims very seriously, and we are vigorously investigating them.” He said his office would use the next 90 days – the time period called for under World Trade Organization (WTO) laws – to investigate the practices detailed in the USW petition.

The USW wrote up a 5800 page report, detailing China's unfair practices on green technologies. Here are the 5 main broad areas:

  1. Restrictions of Access to Critical Materials
  2. Prohibited Subsidies Contingent on Export Performance or Domestic Content
  3. Discrimination Against Imported Goods and Foreign Firms
  4. Technology Transfer Requirements for Foreign Investors
  5. Trade-Distorting Domestic Subsidies

Just yesterday the New York Times reported China is widening it's embargo of rare earth minerals, key raw elements in advanced manufacturing.

China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said on Tuesday.

We also know China is demanding their government owned industries buy up foreign firms.

Technology transfer demands, where literally U.S. corporations hand over their know how to a foreign nation, have been long documented. Advanced Research & Development is also being offshore outsourced, not only to China, but India is capturing a large segment as well.

The Economic Policy Institute Economist Robert Scott cranked the trade numbers on green jobs. Below is Scott's graph on the current green job trade deficit with China. Notice the trade cap growth in a very short time window.


EPI China trade deficit green jobs


New American Foundation's Leo Hindery knows green jobs are not the answer to the U.S. economy. Instead they are an answer. Hindery outlines five major action items the United States should do to jump start green jobs. Two are about China and their unfair trade practices. Another is to establish a National Infrastructure Bank.

Our unwillingness to date to establish a National Infrastructure Bank (or NIB) is a major obstacle. Long before this Great Recession began, we knew that thoughtful investments in all types of infrastructure, including things green, were one of the top two ways to create lots of jobs and help restore America's global competitiveness, provided the spending was coupled with buy-domestic requirements. (The other way is employment programs for the roughly 5 million unemployed out-of-school youth.) The specifics of this are simple: each $1 billion spent on infrastructure creates on average 25,000 new jobs, and when the investments are for high-tech, energy efficient green things, then the new-jobs figure is on the order of 45,000 per $1 billion spent. An NIB would immediately increase many-fold, and at much lower costs, the infrastructure investment capacities of our federal, state and local governments. It would also make such investments less dependent on annual appropriations; and give these needed investments beneficial access to the private capital markets, large fiduciary investors, and foreign central banks.

Notice the buy American requirements. He needs to add a hire America requirement to be true Keynesian. That's U.S. citizens, permanent residents, Americans for jobs in America. No more offshore outsourcing of jobs funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars or labor arbitraging Americans by importing cheaper labor.

In reaction to the U.S. Steelworkers petition and the Obama administration's taking it on, China chastizes the United States for daring to challenge them on unfair subsidies:

A dispute between China and the United States over Beijing’s subsidies to clean energy industries escalated on Sunday when a senior Chinese economic official warned that Washington “cannot win this trade fight.”

A blade for a Chinese-made wind turbine being offloaded in Long Beach, Calif., in May.
In an abruptly scheduled news briefing here, the official, Zhang Guobao, sharply rebuked the Obama administration for opening an inquiry on Friday into the subsidies.

Mr. Zhang accused American trade officials of repeatedly delaying talks over the same issues that the White House now wanted to investigate and suggested the administration was playing election season politics.

“I have been thinking: What do the Americans want?” said Mr. Zhang, the vice chairman of the government’s National Development and Reform Commission. “Do they want fair trade? Or an earnest dialogue? Or transparent information? I don’t think they want any of this. I think more likely, the Americans just want votes.”

Uh, no China. We want our jobs and our economy back. Create your own damn consumer market.



All this hoopla is just a

All this hoopla is just a smoke screen, this administration is just sitting and waiting for the, China coat tails.
A December 2009 report for Congress describes import cost would rise with national ballast water legislation.
The House voted for regulations 395-7 in 2008, but the legislation was not taken up in the Senate during this administration.
The continued delay tactics of more comment, study, and only a proposal for a long time line to implement standards for ballast water and foreign ships dumping human pathogens and virus illustrates this administrations reason for delay is not to hinder economic globalization, even at the expense of our environment and manufacturing competitiveness.
The following report for Congress in DEC 2009 “Although estimates of the costs of ballast treatment may be imprecise and vary from vessel to
vessel, there is some general agreement on average costs.14 For example, it may cost an estimated $400,000 per vessel for modification of container/bulk vessels to use onshore ballast water treatment facilities at California ports. More generally, the cost of retrofitting vessels to treat
ballast water has been estimated at between $200,000 and $310,000 per vessel for mechanical
treatment and around $300,000 for chemical treatment.15 Most of this expense will be borne by
foreign shipping companies, as the U.S. flag fleet is a small percentage of the global fleet,16 and
likely passed along to consumers of products imported on these ships.”

shipping regulations

I didn't know about this bill, but there are others the house passed, very good, which the Senate didn't bring to the floor.

Thanks for posting information on it.

I thin this is why Pelosi is so under attack and Harry Reid, not so much. It's the Senate where every piece of good legislation gets stopped.

Right, Obama so far hasn't done anything on trade, offshore outsourcing and he could through the executive branch.