China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that a monthslong investigation had revealed that U.S. support for six clean energy projects violated World Trade Organization rules and acted as barriers to trade.
State-controlled Xinhua news agency said later that the ministry found that the U.S. government provided renewable energy companies unfair grants that are prohibited under WTO rules and distorted normal trade.
The ministry's charges are likely to heighten trade tensions between the two countries. The U.S. and China have recently sparred more frequently over clean energy issues, ranging from copyright violations of wind-power technology to subsidies for manufacturers of solar and wind-turbine components. The two countries are also at odds over China's rare-earth quotas and imports of Iranian crude oil.