Thursday, September 22, 2011

Protectionism served sunny side up

Following the Solyndra scandal, where President Obama championed a sweetheart $535 million loan to a California solar panel company that spent it frivolously then went bankrupt, alternative energy subsidies are getting more of the scrutiny they deserve.

But to me, the issue highlights the protectionist hypocrisy surrounding our trade relations with China. A recent statement from U.S. Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) demonstrates this inconsistency:

Chinese producers often receive large subsidies from their government and price their goods at levels that do not reflect the reality of the marketplace thus putting U.S. industries at a distinct disadvantage unless remedies are used to level the playing field.

Wyden identified the Department of Commerce’s authority to self-initiate an investigation into the application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties as one remedy as well as conditions place on China’s entry to the World Trade Organization that give the president the authority to impose tariff safeguards on surging Chinese imports that disrupt U.S. industry.
Reality of the marketplace? Did an unsold Solyndra solar panel fall and bonk Wydon on the head?

American solar panels do not reflect the "reality of the marketplace" because they receive subsidies as well, as well as tax breaks for people who use them. These unrealistic, artificially low prices happen because America does exactly what he's accusing China of doing.

Perhaps Wyden is unaware of the "green jobs" kick that's going on in Washington?

Nope, he's bringing home green eggs and pork for his constituents.

This is the kind of garbage you get when you put economic illiterates in positions of power. Wyden is just the latest in a long line of fools who say they want Americans to use environmentally-friendly energy sources, but when Chinese tax payers offer to pay part of the bill, these so-called environmentalists spaz out and threaten to place higher taxes on American consumers.

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