Biden’s Climate Bill a Boon to Chinese Businesses
In an ironic twist of policy outcomes, the very legislation hailed as a triumph for American energy independence and environmental stewardship—the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—is proving to be a boon for Chinese solar companies. Yes, you read that correctly. The flagship climate bill, a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda, is now poised to funnel American taxpayer dollars into the coffers of companies based in China, a nation responsible for about a quarter of the new solar manufacturing capacity announced in the U.S. since the IRA’s enactment in August 2022.
It’s a development that would be laughable if it weren’t so gravely serious. Chinese firms, including those like LONGi and Trina Solar, whose supply chains are disturbingly linked to the forced labor of Uyghur Muslims, are set to capture a staggering $1.4 billion in annual subsidies thanks to the IRA. This, despite the bill’s avowed aim to foster a domestic green energy supply chain, signaling a profound disconnect between the administration’s intentions and the act’s real-world implications.
The allure of IRA subsidies has proven irresistible to Chinese solar manufacturers, who, despite the higher production costs in the U.S., see value in establishing operations stateside. This maneuvering by Chinese firms is not new; they have historically shifted production to skirt American policies and tariffs. Yet, now they find a warm welcome in the form of IRA tax credits.
But the issue extends beyond solar manufacturing. Gotion, Inc., a subsidiary of China-based Gotion High-Tech, eyes substantial IRA-induced benefits for its electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing plants in Illinois and Michigan. This, despite the company’s deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party—a fact that has sparked opposition from local communities and Republican lawmakers alike.
This unfolding scenario raises pressing questions about the true beneficiaries of the IRA and, by extension, the direction of American energy and manufacturing policy. Are we, in our rush to embrace green energy, inadvertently bolstering the economic and geopolitical standing of our chief global competitor? And at what cost to American jobs, security, and moral integrity, given the egregious human rights abuses entangled in these Chinese companies’ supply chains?
It’s high time for a reassessment of the IRA’s impact and a recalibration of our energy policies to ensure they serve American interests first and foremost. Otherwise, we risk the very principles upon which the nation should stand: independence, security, and an unwavering commitment to human rights and dignity.