A few years ago, General Electric caved into the Chinese government's demand that G.E. build a large wind turbine factory in China. Since G.E. owns a crucial patent for wind turbines, this demand was based on the Chinese anti-free trade policy called indigenous innovation (which is "a blueprint for technology theft"). China then developed its own wind turbine manufacturers, and is now ordering purchasers to buy from those Chinese firms instead of from G.E. That's the reality in what free traders thought was the world's fast-growing market for U.S. goods.
China wants to be the world's biggest exporter based on stealing U.S. know-how and subsidizing Chinese manufacturers. China blatantly violates international trade laws and has no plans to be a market for U.S. products; China's principal imports are and will continue to be U.S. jobs. Although the Obama Administration filed a wind-turbine complaint with the World Trade Organization, no U.S. company joined to defend itself. WTO disputes take up to three years to come to a decision, which usually turns out to be against the U.S.
When asked about China's cheating on wind turbines, the CEO of G.E. responded by meekly saying that his company will fine-tune its competitive tactics to adapt to Beijing policy. G.E. got only half the China market that G.E. was counting on.
G.E.'s CEO was gung-ho for trade with China in 2002. Then, he told G.E.'s managers: "I talk China. You need to be there. I am a nut on China." However, by 2010, after G.E. had handed over its technology in order to gain access to the Chinese market, G.E.'s CEO was singing a different tune. He said: "I really worry about China. I am not sure that in the end they want any of us to be successful."
Listen to the radio commentary here: