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Rep. Stearns: The U.S. Should Just Give Up Competitiveness to China

05 Oct 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: General Political

On Monday, Representative Cliff Stearns (R – FL) told NPR listeners just how much faith he has in American competitiveness—not much. 

In fact Stearns seems to believe the U.S. should concede defeat to Chinese competition and give up the clean energy fight altogether. In an interview with NPR, regarding the recent bankruptcy of solar company Solyndra, Stearns said that he believes the U.S. shouldn’t subsidize the entire industry.

"We can't compete with China to make solar panels and wind turbines," Stearns said.

Aside from being “defeatist”—as President Obama characterized Stearns’ attitude earlier this week—its flat-out wrong.  Manufacturing accounts for a whopping 12 percent of the American GDP, points out Kate Gordon, Vice President of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress. With more than 400 wind energy firms in the U.S., 50% of all wind components were made here. Not only that, but the U.S. actually remains a major exporter of clean energy component products to Canada, Mexico, Chile, and—surprise—China. 

Perhaps the real reason, the U.S. “can’t compete” is because many U.S. lawmakers refuse to compete with China and invest in the American entrepreneurial spirit. 

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