The US Steelworkers Union is calling foul play on China’s green tech sector, demanding WTO sanctions against China for subsidizing exports.
Problem is, their position is hopeless.
Firstly, of course China subsidizes the industry. That’s how its state-driven economy works for most major industries, and clean tech is a major Chinese initiative.
Secondly, it will be extremely hard to paint low-cost clean tech as the enemy, given a severe under-investment in American infrastructure coupled with U.S. budget constraints.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the amount of capital pouring into Chinese green tech is unstoppable, with or without state support. Caixin describes an outpouring of mysterious funders for a recent wind-tech share offering:
Caixin has learned that some 22 shareholders [of Sinovel], most of whom control between 0.1 and 4 per cent of the company, and the smallest of which invested only 150,000 yuan, are poised to profit after jumping in just in the past two years.
Who are these investors? It’s hard to say. Phone numbers listed in some company registrations do not exist, and people answering listed mobile phone numbers said they know nothing about the companies. Some office addresses are fakes as well.
“It’s quite popular for mysterious, small investors to crowd into a company before it goes public, hoping to earn a fortune,” said a private equity investor.
Green tech would be a lightning growth sector in America if we weren’t stuck with a built-infrastructure handicap, and arguably a political system stacked against anything green. In China, on the other hand, green tech coincides with the need for new infrastructure and modernity.