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US takes China to WTO court for pushing clean energy too aggressively ... HUH?

Global problems require multi-governmental coordination, and the US and China are at the heart of the climate change market challenges for LED lighting, clean energy, etc. How do we regain our lead?

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"I believe that as the two largest energy consumers and emitters of greenhouses gases, the United States and China have a responsibility to combat climate change by building on the progress at Copenhagen and Cancun, and showing the way to a clean energy future. And President Hu indicated that he agrees with me on this issue," President Obama said during the recent US visit of Chinese President Hu at a press conference.

But can the United States step up as a leader on clean energy?

Mother Jones' Kate Sheppard notes that Hu also said the United States and China would work together on climate changes, but, she writes, "I can imagine, though, that the conversation on this subject wasn't entirely as chummy as the remarks would imply, however. The US last month lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization about China's subsidies for clean energy, arguing that the country is unfairly stacking the deck in favor of their products."

The Obama administration filed a case against China with the World Trade Organization on December 22, 2010, accusing Beijing of providing unfair subsidies to Chinese energy companies. Huh?

The case comes in response to a petition from the United Steelworkers union in September. The union claims that Chinese businesses are able to sell wind and solar equipment on the international market at a cheaper price than their competitors because they get government subsidies. The administration's WTO case alleges that the subsidies violate global trade rules.

The "market story" is a different matter...

Where is American aggressiveness in marketing our innovative clean energy products -- cost effectively?

As a publisher of websites and publications about green and sustainable solutions, senior editor, Carolyn Allen reports that her publishing company receives as many as 20 times as many news releases from Chinese LED lighting companies than from US LED lighting companies.

"The contrast in market messaging is overwhelming," she reports. "Chinese marketers are informative, repetitive, and relentless in getting their message to the market. US companies -- not so much!"

The success of clean energy will not come about from government mandates, but from smart companies doing what's best for their customers. "LED lights, for instance, can save up to 80-90% of the lighting energy and a high percentage of maintenance costs for lighting systems above conventional systems. Why are American companies not marketing this message through the new social media and Internet publishing channels?"

Union protests will not make American companies more competitive. Smart marketing and sales will.

It's a matter of best practices not only in the manufacturing facility, but in the marketing department.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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