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Timothy Brightbill Discusses Impact of World Bank’s Support of China on U.S. Energy Industry
Timothy C. Brightbill, a partner in Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice, was quoted in an article in the October 14 Washington Post about the World Bank’s role in China’s economic development, specifically in green industries—and the negative impact that has had on U.S. wind and solar energy firms.
The Washington, DC-based financial institution for the past 30 years has offered counsel and monetary assistance to China, which has emerged as the major challenger to the United States’ global economic dominance. The World Bank has provided direct loans to Chinese firms as well as awarded contracts to Chinese companies at a far greater rate than other countries’ businesses. The article, citing bank data, notes that Chinese companies have won more than 20% of the bank’s internationally bid business since 2000—more than double that of any other country.
Critics say the bank’s efforts laid the groundwork for China to employ unfair trade policies and practices known as dumping. The manufacturing and selling of wind and solar energy products at unfair prices, many say, has cost U.S. companies jobs even as the market for alternative energy rebounded in 2011.
Mr. Brightbill said the impact of bank programs is evident in China’s growth and the struggles of U.S. firms. “What you see is a serious problem when these loans go to fund massive overcapacity [in China] that ends up harming U.S. industries and U.S. workers as a result,” Mr. Brightbill told The Post.
A Wiley Rein team led by Mr. Brightbill successfully represented a coalition of U.S. solar manufacturers in a trade remedy case brought against China in 2011 and won in 2012. The firm also served as trade counsel to a coalition of U.S. wind tower producers, seeking antidumping and subsidy investigations into Chinese and Vietnamese imports of utility scale wind towers. The investigations led U.S. regulators to impose duties on the products from both countries.