US Wind Tower Group Files Dumping Complaint Against Chinese, Vietnamese Manufacturers

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Photo courtesy DMI Industries
Trade friction with China is spreading, as a group of four US wind tower manufacturers filed a complaint with the US Dept. of Commerce and International Trade Commission calling on them to investigate and levy punitive duties on Chinese and Vietnamese wind turbine tower manufacturers, The Oregonian’s Ted Sickinger reported earlier today.

Calling itself the Wind Tower Trade Coalition, the group comprises Texas-based Trinity Structural Towers, Fargo, North Dakota’s DMI Industries, Wisconsin’s Broadwind Towers and Nebraska’s Katana Summit.

The US group says that Chinese wind tower manufacturers with operations in Vietnam are dumping their product in the US below cost and are benefiting from Chinese government subsidies that violate international trade agreements.

A similar complaint recently filed by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturers (CASM) against Chinese solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers is currently undergoing a preliminary investigation by the Dept. of Commerce, after the ITC initially found just cause for the complaint.

The Wind Tower Trade Coalition lists 40 separate Chinese government subsidy and assistance programs that the group says enables them to adopt predatory pricing to the detriment of domestic US manufacturers, according to Sickinger’s report. They’re requesting that the US impose “countervailing duties” that reconcile the difference between the price of imported wind towers and their normal market value in the exporting countries. They calculate them at 64.37% for Chinese wind towers and 59.11% for wind towers manufactured in Vietnam.

In response to CASM’s complaint, Chinese solar PV producers filed a complaint alleging that US polysilicon producers receive improper subsidies and are dumping product at below cost in China. Polysilicon is the raw material used in the production of solar PV cells and panels. Chinese trade authorities are also investigating whether or not US-based producers of hydro and wind energy products are dumping products in China.

US-China trade frictions are limited to renewable energy. China’s Ministry of Commerce recently decided to impose punitive duties of as much as 22% on large cars and SUVs imported from the US, according to a Dec. 14 CNBC report. Chinese imports of GM’s Cadillac Esplanade, Fiat-Chrysler’s Jeep Cherokee and luxury SUVs made by Daimler and BMW will be affected.

The ITC expects to issue a preliminary determination on the Wind Tower Trade Coalition’s complaint in February, while the Commerce Dept. should complete its own preliminary findings within six months, according to The Oregonian’s report.

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