The trade war between US and Asian wind manufacturers has escalated in the form of new US tariffs of up to 73% against Chinese and Vietnamese wind tower manufacturers.
Early this year, a group of manufacturers filed trade complaints with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, accusing Chinese and Vietnamese companies of dumping the equipment below cost. The Commerce Department adopted preliminary tariffs of up to 26% in May, leaving the door open to increase that amount.
And it has now done so.
In late July, the Commerce Department imposed new tariffs ranging from 20% - 73% for steel towers made in China, and set duties of 53%-60% on Vietnamese-made equipment. The tariffs only cover utility-grade towers that support wind turbines producing up to 100 kilowatts of electricity, not other wind components.
Different manufacturers are subject to different duties. CS Wind Corp., Sinovel Wind Group Co. and Guodian United Power Technology Baoding Co. will be charged 26%; Chengxi Shipyard Co. will be assessed 31%; and all others will pay 73%.
CS Wind's division from Vietnam will pay 54%, while other companies from that country will be subject to the 60% rate.
The Commerce Department investigation found that the two nations exported $301 million in wind turbines to the US in 2011, selling below production costs.
The new wind tariffs come as the solar industry takes its trade dispute against China to the EU, asking the European Commission to investigate whether Chinese solar manufacturers dumped products at below-market rates in Europe. The US slapped hefty tariffs of 34% to 250% on Chinese solar imports earlier this year.
China is fighting back. It is considering whether it should impose duties on polysilicon imports from the US and South Korea. In addition, the country is looking at state solar subsidies that could be unfavorable for Chineses solar companies.