The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) decided Friday that the domestic industry was materially injured or threatened by imported wind towers from China and Vietnam, thus allowing Washington to impose punitive duties on these products.
The ruling, backed by three commissioners of the federal bipartisan trade panel, cleared the way for the U.S. Commerce Department to issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of utility scale wind towers from China and Vietnam.
Two USITC commissioners found the U.S. industry composed of 13 producers was materially injured and another found it threatened with material injury. The other three voted in the negative.
The Commerce Department determined in December, 2012 that producers and exporters from China and Vietnam sold these products in the U.S. market at dumping margins ranging from 44.99 percent to 70.63 percent and 51.50 percent to 58.49 percent, respectively. And those from China also received countervailable subsidies of 21. 86 percent to 34.81 percent.
The punitive tariff orders would apply to goods that entered the U.S. market after May 30 and July 27 when the Commerce Department made affirmative preliminary determinations on countervailing and antidumping investigations respectively.
The latest USITC decision concluded the probe that commenced on Jan. 19, 2012, in response to a petition filed on Dec. 29, 2011, by the Wind Tower Trade Coalition comprised of four companies.
The United States imported 265.9 million dollars of wind towers from China and Vietnam in 2011, which accounted for 63 percent of the U.S. market, according to USITC data. China and Vietnam took the second and fifth places in terms of import sources in 2011, respectively.
China and the United States are two of the world's biggest markets for solar, wind and other renewable energy technology. Both governments are encouraging their own suppliers in order to generate higher value added growth.
Trade tensions with China are especially sensitive at a time when the United States and other Western economies want to boost exports to revive economic growth and cut unemployment.
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.