A group of 59 lawmakers urged President Barack Obama in a letter released on Dec. 2 to open an investigation into China's alleged unfair trade practices in the clean energy sector.
"We cannot strengthen our energy security, or create jobs and economic growth, by replacing Middle East petroleum imports with unfairly traded clean energy technologies imported from China," the lawmakers wrote.
Representative Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House committee with jurisdiction over taxes and trade, led the group, which included members of both parties from the House and Senate.
The letter echoed a plea last month from SolarWorld Industries America, a subsidiary of SolarWorld AG of Germany and the sector's leading manufacturer in the U.S, for Obama to impose trade sanctions on China for what the firm charged were unfair subsidies to its solar panel exporters..
"We urge you to take all available measures to expeditiously investigate these allegations and take swift and appropriate action based on those findings," the lawmakers said.
Chinese solar panel makers this week rejected the complaint, warning it risked "seriously hindering the development of green energy," and accused SolarWorld of benefiting from lavish government subsidies.
Congress has stepped up attacks on Beijing's allegedly unfair trade practices in the face of deep U.S. voter anger at the sour economy and high unemployment, blaming China's rise for job losses at home.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011