U.S. Boosts Import Duties on Chinese Wind-Energy Firms

December 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Ratcheting up trade tensions with
China, the U.S. increased import duties on wind towers produced
by Chengxi Shipyard Co. and CS Wind Corp. as economic talks
between the two nations opened in Washington.

The Commerce Department yesterday set final punitive
tariffs on the products from China and Vietnam. The rates were
higher than preliminary tariffs announced earlier this year to
counter government subsidies and to prevent the goods from being
sold in the U.S. below production costs, a practice known as
dumping.

“The final results are an important step in remedying the
material injury already suffered by the U.S. industry and will
force the Chinese and Vietnamese producers to compete fairly,”
Alan Price, an attorney with Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, said
in a statement. Price represents the U.S. manufacturers that
brought the case against the foreign producers, including
Broadwind Energy Inc. (BWEN) of Naperville, Illinois.

The decision coincided with the start of two days of trade
and economic talks between U.S. and Chinese officials. Tensions
between the world’s two largest economies have risen within the
past year over government support for clean-energy products,
including solar cells and wind towers.

The department set anti-dumping duties of 47.59 percent on
wind-towers from Chengxi Shipyard and 44.99 percent for Titan
Wind Energy Suzhou Co., both based in China. The rate for Titan
Wind was more than double its preliminary rate of 20.85 percent,
announced in July. The steel towers support the turbines and
engines used by power companies.

Anti-Dumping

The Chinese unit of South Korea-based CS Wind, along with
Guodian United Power Technology Baoding Co. and Sinovel Wind
Group Co. (601558)
, both based in China, received anti-dumping rates of
46.38 percent, also higher than their preliminary levels. All
other Chinese producers and exporters of the goods received
anti-dumping rates of 70.63 percent. Actual rates will be about
11 percentage points lower due to accounting adjustments.

U.S. anti-subsidy duties for the Chinese goods will be
21.86 percent for CS Wind and 34.81 percent for Titan. Other
producers and exporters received an anti-subsidy rate of 28.34
percent, up from the preliminary tariff announced May 30.

Sinovel jumped by 10 percent, the most since Jan. 13, 2011,
its first day of trading in Shanghai, and closed 4.1 percent
higher at 5.29 yuan. Titan rose 1 percent to 14.03 yuan in
Shenzhen trading.

Lowered Rates

The Commerce Department also announced anti-dumping
penalties of 51.50 percent for CS Wind’s Vietnamese unit, and
58.49 percent for other producers in that country. The rates are
slightly lower than the preliminary tariffs set earlier this
year.

Chinese and Vietnamese imports of wind-towers account for
about 25 percent of the total U.S. market, according to an Aug.
3 report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Joining Broadwind in the complaint were Fergus Falls,
Minnesota-based Otter Tail Corp. (OTTR)’s DMI Industries, Katana Summit
LLC, headquartered in Ephrata, Washington, and a unit of Dallas-
based Trinity Industries (TRN) Inc. Major producers of wind-energy
gear include General Electric Co. (GE) of Fairfield, Connecticut, and
Siemens AG (SIE) of Munich.

The U.S. last year imported about $222 million worth of
utility-scale wind towers from China, and $79 million from
Vietnam, according to the Commerce Department. During the first
five months of this year, the U.S. imported $269 million in
towers from China, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Neither the Chinese Embassy in Washington nor attorneys
representing the Chinese companies in the trade dispute
responded to a request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Brian Wingfield in Washington at
bwingfield3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at
jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

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