Energy Secretary Rick Perry invited China to compete with the U.S. on clean energy technology this week, in the wake of President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
“I hope China will step in and attempt to take the mantle away” from America, Perry told reporters in Tokyo on Monday, Bloomberg reports. “It would be a good challenge for them.”
Business leaders repeatedly warned the Trump administration that pulling out of the climate treaty could put the U.S. at a disadvantage in the global race to create and deploy greentech solutions. There are concerns about curbing clean energy research and development within the U.S., and about the ability for American companies to win contracts abroad.
However, Perry insisted that the U.S. would remain the world leader on clean technology.
“Those that would say, ‘well you created this void where China is going to take over’ — no, we’re not stepping back and we haven’t created a void,” the secretary said. “The United States is not backing down from its role as a leader in cleaning up the planet.”
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