WASHINGTON – The United Steelworkers union is asking the Obama administration to crack down on various Chinese trade practices that the union says are robbing American workers of jobs in the burgeoning field of clean energy, including solar and wind power.

The union on Thursday filed a 5,800-page petition with the administration contending that China’s central and provincial governments are giving Chinese companies unfair advantages over American firms through the use of subsidies that are prohibited under global trade rules.

Under U.S. law, the administration will have 45 days to decide whether to accept the petition and launch an investigation that could lead to cases being filed against China before the Geneva-based World Trade Organization.

The union also asked the administration to begin formal talks with China to persuade it to drop the contested subsidies.