Locke touts U.S.-China green tech trade opportunities
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said since the United States and China are the largest producers of harmful greenhouse gases, both countries have an obligation to work together to foster efficient development and trade in wind, solar, biofuel and other renewable energy technologies.
'Widespread deployment of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies is also the only way our economies can continue to grow while preventing the catastrophic effects of climate change,' Locke told an audience at the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on Wednesday.
Locke is in China this week with Energy Secretary Steven Chu to promote and discuss so-called green technology development opportunities with China.
At the chamber, Locke expressed concerns about trade barriers that prevent U.S. renewable energy technology companies from efficiently conducting business in China.
'We need to empower U.S. and Chinese entrepreneurs and innovators to create and collaborate free from artificial trade barriers,' he said. 'U.S. companies have considerable advanced technology that could assist China in its clean energy transition ' and I am committed to doing whatever it takes to make it easier for American companies to operate here.'
Locke warned against the imposition of trade protections during the global economic recession. China is aggressively developing its domestic renewable energy production capabilities.
'The line between advancing important domestic priorities and protectionism can be blurry, and we should work to avoid crossing it,' Locke said. 'Unfairly subsidizing domestic companies or denying multinational companies access to local markets and government procurement contracts has the potential to be a serious threat to trade cooperation.'
Locke also said China must continue its efforts to enforce intellectual property protections. 'American companies in fields as diverse as energy, technology, entertainment and pharmaceuticals still lose billions of dollars every year to China from IP theft. The U.S. Department of Commerce is eager to continue work with our Chinese counterparts to improve these IP enforcement efforts.'
He added: 'This is not just a concern for American companies. As Chinese firms move up the economic value chain in clean energy and energy efficiency development, as well as other areas like financial services, IT and biotech, they too will increasingly count on the protection of their ideas.'