U.S. Takes a Stand Against Chinese Green Exports

(USNewsMag.com) – Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen says that tariffs on green energy exports from China, among other measures, are still on the table and won’t be ruled out.

On Monday, April 8th, Yelled appeared on CNBC for an interview and told host Sara Eisen that the U.S. needs to “keep everything on the table” when dealing with the oversupply of subsidized clean energy from China. In response to a question from Eisen about the possibility of tariffs being imposed on China if its industry approach doesn’t change, the Treasury Secretary says that she “wouldn’t rule anything out” currently and that the U.S. still wants to work with China to see if a solution can be reached.

Yellen clarified that she isn’t “thinking so much of export restrictions” as changes to China’s “macroeconomic policy,” and reductions in government subsidies to Chinese firms. Whether or not restricting exports through tariffs is the way, Yellen said the playing field needs to be leveled for green energy technology, and that the U.S. just wants “to make sure” they’re “not driven out of business” and that U.S. firms and employees can compete in these industries that are important for the future. Yellen has been in Beijing to discuss these issues with Chinese officials.

The concerns from the U.S. are rooted in concerns about subsidized clean energy products from China creating an oversupply in the market, including such products as lithium-ion batteries, electric vehicles (EV), and solar power, making it difficult for domestic firms to compete. These Chinese products dominate the market because they can be exported at discounted prices to international markets. Japan and other U.S. allies in Europe have also expressed similar concerns and are considering trade restrictions, too.

An investigation is currently underway by the European Union into the possible unloading of subsidized EV products from China into union nations, which could undermine its large domestic automotive industry. Not everyone is convinced about imposing tariffs on Chinese EVs, such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has expressed skepticism over the proposal.

Wang Wentao, the Chinese minister of commerce, denied the accusations that China is flooding U.S. and European markets, citing his country’s “constant innovations” as the reason for Chinese success.

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