Marc Gunther at GreenBiz says "It's Time to Pick Sides in the US-China Solar Trade Wars." He makes some good points - like why is a German company, SolarWorld - suing the Chinese for subsidizing solar, while they rely on US government subsidies as well? But there's more to this story than just picking sides.
If it's a question of solar jobs, then there are many more US jobs at stake in installing solar panels than in manufacturing them. And we already have a solar manufacturing surplus - we make more money selling China raw polysilicon and advanced manufacturing machines than we spend on cheap Chinese panels.
The US will benefit more by encouraging solar installation jobs than protecting solar manufacturing jobs. Marc is right - PV panels are an electronics commodity like TVs, iPhones and and laptops. If it's too expensive to make those things here, why should solar panels be any different?
The 2 key distinctions between these other consumer electronics and solar panels are: First, there are no jobs installing iphones and tvs, while solar installation supports nearly 100,000 jobs in all 50 states - jobs that depend on the low-cost of panels. Second, while iphones and computers use energy, solar panels produce energy. So there are enormous environmental, energy security, and energy-cost savings benefits to installing solar panels.
Government support in the form of tax incentives and subsidies is a reality in all energy markets. So it's less a question of getting government out of the energy markets than it is getting the right policies on clean energy development. Clean energy is not only a global market, but also a global priority - and it needs to be treated like one.