A Parallel between Japanese auto and Chinese solar manufacturers ?

An article in the New York Times (Oct 21, 2011, B3) describes a potential reaction to US solar manufacturer unfair trade concerns regarding Chinese competitors , a parallel to Japanese auto manufacturers in the ‘80s.  At that time, Japanese auto manufacturers set up plants in the US and employed US workers to make their cars, and then proceeded to gain significant market share with superior products.  Chinese solar manufacturers, who can set up final panel manufacturing and assembly in under six months,  have already started a similar trend. Given the lower lead time and capital requirements , should the solar industry be expected to follow similar trends  to the auto industry ? Given that manufacturing about 50 % of the content for solar panels commands a “Made in the USA” label and US subsidies, does the associated location based preference make  sense ?  Given the demand for solar panel manufacturing equipment exported to China from the US, should trade frictions for solar panels be expected to cause a shift in demand for equipment to German suppliers, thus hurting jobs upstream in the US ?

About aviyer2010

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