The above-linked article is a little old, but I didn’t want to let it pass without comment. When the administration began championing “green jobs” and renewable energy as the solution to our unemployment problem, I countered that the manufacture of solar cells and wind turbines was just as likely to end up in foreign plants as any other product.
Now comes the first evidence of this:
German solar firms Conergy and Solarworld have voiced strong concern about the pricing practices of Chinese panel makers — who undercut their German peers’ products by around 20 percent.
Industry experts say U.S. firms share those German concerns.
… The once red-hot solar sector faces a massive oversupply of cells and modules that has driven down average selling prices for solar systems by more than a fifth in Germany and the United States — two major solar markets — and Chinese companies are grabbing market share by slashing costs.
… Making solar energy affordable through subsidies was always a challenge for Western governments promoting clean energy use, but resisting low-cost imports from China may prove a bigger hurdle.
Equipment for the renewable energy industry is no different than any other product. It can be manufactured anywhere and, without tariffs to make domestic manufacturing the logical alternative, it will by default end up in the hands of countries where labor is in the worst state of over-supply. There is no way to gimmick our way out of this fundamental economic truth.