Heine: Evaluate China’s Impact, Embrace Green Energy

Ambassador Jorge Heine, Research Professor at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Interim Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, recently participated in a Voice of America forum where China’s industrial overproduction and its impact on other countries were discussed, including recent tariffs imposed by the US government on Chinese EVs and other items.

During the program, Heine addressed the issue of China’s lower production costs, stating, “The basic issue is that production costs are lower in China, which leads to China having an advantage in markets throughout the world.” He also emphasized the need for a case-by-case evaluation of Chinese imports, particularly in the context of steel exports to Latin America. “In the case of steel in Latin America, it indicates that each case must be evaluated individually. What cannot happen is to take measures that simply encompass all imports from China, because I think that introduces profound distortions,” Heine remarked.

Heine also discussed the challenges and opportunities for Latin American countries in the green energy sector. He highlighted the importance of South America embracing the green energy transition and adding value to the process:

“I believe that the great challenge for South America is to be able to get on this green energy wagon and add the required value. To do, in a first stage, to make batteries that allow the use of this and add more value, generate more employment, and ultimately do what the development of our region needs.”

Furthermore, Heine stressed the significance of collaboration between the United States and China in tackling climate change. He expressed his hope that the differences surrounding the production of green energies “do not end up hindering what is the true challenge we have ahead of us.”

The full video, in Spanish, can be accessed here.

Ambassador Jorge Heine is a Research Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He has served as ambassador of Chile to China (2014-2017), to India (2003-2007), and to South Africa (1994-1999), and as a Cabinet Minister in the Chilean Government. Read more about Ambassador Heine on his Pardee School faculty profile.