Surprise! US Dominates Trade With China on Cleantech Products

What would your answer be to this question?

Does the US import more renewable energy products from China than we export to that country?

Most people would answer "yes," largely because we’ve heard so much about China’s dominance in solar manufacturing. The US implemented tariffs on solar panels coming from China in an attempt to level the playing field.

While that’s true, it turns out that overall, the US exported $1.63 billion more to China than we imported on renewable energy-related products in 2011 (that’s the most recent data).

"U.S. companies excel in production and sale of complex, high-margin, and performance-critical goods," says Pew.

While China leads on large-scale manufacturing and high volume production of what’s become low margin solar panel manufacturing, the US leads on high margin goods – solar PV inverters, manufacturing equipment, specialty materials like polysilicon, advanced lighting and smart grid products, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

"The United States is viewed primarily as a services economy and an insatiable importer," says Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which compiled the data for Pew’s report. "China’s dominance in complete solar modules obscures its meaningful imports of higher-margin capital equipment, specialty materials and polysilicon."

Of the $8.5 billion of clean energy products traded between the US and China in 2011, solar products accounted for more than $6.5 billion of that, and the US had a $913 million surplus.

Wind products constituted a small part of trade between the two countries, but here too, the US had the export advantage. Out of the $923 million traded, US companies had a $146 million surplus.

Another $1.1 billion traded was for smart meters, LEDs, lithium-ion batteries, electric cars and energy- efficiency products – here too, the US had a surplus of $571 million.

Read Pew’s report:

Website: [sorry this link is no longer available]     
(Visited 7,151 times, 5 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *