U.S. may levy countervailing duties on wind turbines from China

The U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of utility scale wind towers from China, signaling that it may impose punitive duties on these products.

The Commerce Department preliminarily determined that Chinese producers/exporters of utility scale wind towers have received countervailable subsidies of 13.74 percent to 26.00 percent.

In 2011, imports of utility scale wind towers from China were valued at an estimated 222 million U.S. dollars. The department is scheduled to make its final determination in August 2012.

The department would issue CVD orders after both it and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) make affirmative final rulings. The USITC is expected to make a final decision over the issue in September, 2012.

The merchandise covered by this investigation is steel towers that support the engine and rotor blades for use in wind turbines with electrical power generation capacities in excess of 100 kilowatts.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Commerce Department also launched antidumping investigations on utility scale wind towers from China, claiming those products had a dumping margin at 213.54 percent. The department is scheduled to make preliminary antidumping decision on around June 6, 2012.

The U.S. move came at a time when protectionism is making a comeback in America amid sluggish economic recovery. It was widely believed that such actions would only hurt U.S.-China trade relations that are increasingly critical to global recovery.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work together with China and other members of the international community to maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.