Posted: 10/23/2012 7:52 PM
Peter Navarro is director of the documentary film "Death by China" and a public policy professor at UC Irvine. www.deathbychina.com
San Francisco is rapidly becoming, as the Office of the Mayor's website has touted, the "premier gateway" for mainland Chinese investment into the United States. If the city's successful wooing of Chinese solar manufacturers is any indication, this is not a welcome trend.
To date, under the leadership of both its previous and current mayor, no fewer than five Chinese solar companies have set up shop on San Francisco soil. This has occurred even as Bay Area solar manufacturers have either filed for bankruptcy (NovaSolar); shrunk in value to a mere shadow of their former selves (NanoSolar); or, in the unkindest cut of all, been sold off to China (MiaSole).
China is trouncing America in industries like solar, wind and steel for one simple reason - it cheats on a scale unprecedented in modern economic history. In solar's case, the Chinese government has showered its national champions with lavish subsidies, which are illegal under international trade law. These subsidies have, in turn, led to a huge over-capacity now spurring predatory Chinese manufacturers to sell solar panels into U.S. markets at margins ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent below fair value - crushing many U.S. competitors in the process.
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