KEY POINTS
  • Janet Yellen warned in a Wednesday speech that China's surplus of clean energy products is depressing prices in global markets and squeezing U.S. green manufacturing.
  • After years of clean energy investment, China has an excess of solar power, EVs and lithium-ion batteries, allowing it to export those products at cheaper prices to markets around the world.
  • Yellen plans to confront her Chinese counterparts about these trade practices during her upcoming visit to China.
  • The U.S. is trying to grow its own clean energy industry domestically with investments from new legislation, but is still playing catch-up with China's green energy sector.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on March 21, 2024, in Washington, DC. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday warned that China is treating the global economy as a dumping ground for its cheaper clean energy products, depressing market prices and squeezing green manufacturing in the U.S.

"I am concerned about global spillovers from the excess capacity that we are seeing in China," Yellen said during a speech at a Georgia solar company called Suniva. "China's overcapacity distorts global prices and production patterns and hurts American firms and workers, as well as firms and workers around the world."