US President Barack Obama will not concede industries of the 21st century to China, India or Europe, a top presidential aide has said as he defended the administration's loan guarantee programme.
"This President will not concede the industries of the 21st century to China, India, Europe and elsewhere," the White House Press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters travelling with Obama to Ohio.
Opponents had been attacking Obama, highlighting reports of top donors landing plum administration posts and securing government aid. They cite at the top of that list the Department of Energy loan guarantees that went to alternative energy companies.
Carney said the investments made in the Recovery Act have already helped renewable energy production double in the United States.
"They have helped created tens of thousands of jobs in the United States. They have helped build a foundation for competition in vital industries in the 21st century, for competition that will allow for the creation of American jobs in the United States," he said.
"The alternative is to cede those industries to other countries, because the 21st century will be very much focused on the development of clean energy technologies and the utilization of the clean energy technologies," he argued.
"So you have a choice. You either make the investments to ensure that those jobs are created in the United States, or you don't. If you don't, you decide that you're going to be importing not just foreign oil but foreign clean energy technologies. This President will not do that," Carney said.
The statement came after the World Trade Organization announced a major victory for the US in a trade dispute with China.
Obama, Carney said, feels very strongly that taking action to ensure that American companies and American workers are able to compete on a level playing field with China and other countries is something that resonates across the country with Americans.