US urges China to be 'even-handed' on subsidies

UNITED STATES: US energy secretary Steven Chu has said that China should allow foreign companies to qualify for its renewable-energy subsidies.

US energy secretary Steven Chu has urged China to make renewables subsidies available to foreign companies
While making the comment Chu noted that in the US foreign firms can qualify for stimulus subsidies.

Speaking during a visit to Shanghai, Chu said: "The United States recognises the right of China to give subsidies just as we use subsidies... but in the United States, we make a point of including all industries.

"We would ask China to consider the same reciprocity, namely if a foreign company wants to come to China to set up manufacturing and production that it would be open to the same kind of help."

Subsidies should be "even-handed," he added.

Chu's remarks come as the US Trade Representative (USTR) is probing allegations that China is engaging in unfair trade practices in clean energy, including wind power.

Potentially, the USTR could take the case to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). A decision is expected by mid-January.

China was recently accused by the United Steelworkers (USW), the nation's largest industrial trade union, of propping up its wind and solar industries with billions of dollars in subsidies, at the expense of non-Chinese companies.

If this is the case, it would be a violation of the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), of which China is a member.