U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke urged China on Sunday to remain open to U.S. and other foreign technology as it ramps up investment in clean energy to fight global warming and secure its economy. “China, given the incredible challenges that is has, should in my view be taking the best technology from wherever; whether it's China, the United States, Europe, Japan, anywhere else,” Locke said at the start of a trade mission to open doors for U.S. clean energy firms.
Image: Gary Locke at a news conference in Hong Kong on the 16th of May, 2010
The United States and a number of other countries have concerns about China's local innovation policies, which could restrict foreign participation in Chinese clean energy projects. “We know that the Chinese have made some modifications on their latest proposals for indigenous innovation. (But) Other economies still have concern about that, and we'll be discussing that with the Chinese,” Locke said. “It's more cost effective for companies and countries to seek the best technology as opposed to buying something that is not quite as good … and a few years later having to completely revamp or purchase new technology,” Locke said. Locke is leading a diverse group of 24 U.S. companies that include power generation manufacturing giants General Electric and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, a division of United Technologies.
Beijing is pouring tens of billions of dollars into solar, wind, biomass and nuclear power projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming and to replace depleting oil and natural gas supplies. But U.S. officials say the barriers to China's fast-growing clean energy market can be as big as the opportunities.