"Get information and do business"
:Follow us
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Google+

United States: China Group Slams U.S. Wind-Turbine Tariffs

Published at: Jul 30, 2012
source: The Wall Street Journal

published by

BEIJING—A Chinese industry group slammed a U.S. decision to impose preliminary antidumping tariffs on Chinese exports of wind-turbine towers, saying Monday that the move was disappointing and would backfire against the U.S. industry.

BEIJING—A Chinese industry group slammed a U.S. decision to impose preliminary antidumping tariffs on Chinese exports of wind-turbine towers, saying Monday that the move was disappointing and would backfire against the U.S. industry.

The U.S. decision is the latest move in a trade row that has pitted the U.S. and the European Union against China in two of the largest clean-energy sectors: wind and solar. It comes at a time when companies in the U.S., EU and China are reeling from oversupply, sliding prices and weak demand.

Liu Huijuan, legal-affairs director at the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, rejected U.S. claims that Chinese companies had been subsidized by the government and "dumped" products overseas to gain market share.

"We are extremely unsatisfied and disappointed with the U.S. decision," Ms. Liu said.

The chamber, representing Chinese makers of wind-turbine towers, will continue talks with officials at the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Commerce Department in an effort to persuade them to overturn the preliminary decision before a final decision is made toward the end of the year, she said.

In a June 2011 photo, a worker assembles parts of a wind turbine at a factory of Guodian United Power Technology in Baoding, in northern China's Hebei province.

"The U.S. is trying to protect their own industry amid an economic downturn, without considering the development of the whole industry chain," Ms. Liu said.

China's Ministry of Commerce convened a closed-door meeting of Chinese wind-turbine-tower companies in June to discuss potential responses and countermeasures to possible U.S. antidumping tariffs. At the time, Chengxi Shipyard Co., one of the three largest turbine-tower companies in China, said U.S. measures would backfire. The company supplied about 200 turbine towers to the U.S. last year.

"It's the U.S. companies who will eventually get hurt by rising costs," Wang Debao, a Chengxi Shipyard spokesman, said at the time.

Chengxi Shipyard supplies wind towers to companies such as General Electric Co. GE -0.57% of the U.S., Vestas Wind Systems A/S VWS.KO +3.30% of Denmark and Mitsubishi Corp. 8058.TO +1.24% of Japan.

The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday that it would impose initial antidumping tariffs of 73% on the Chinese-made wind-turbine towers and as much as 60% on Vietnamese towers. It had announced plans in May to slap tariffs of as much as 26% on Chinese towers to retaliate against what it said were unfair government subsidies such as preferential tax treatment and grants.

Imported towers accounted for about half the U.S. market last year, with Chinese and Vietnamese towers together capturing more than one-quarter of that, about double their market shares from the previous year, the department said.

The wind-energy dispute mirrors a U.S.-China spat over solar equipment.

In March, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed provisional antisubsidy duties on Chinese solar-equipment companies, then in May ruled that 60 Chinese exporters would face a 31% antidumping duty.

Last week, German solar maker SolarWorld AG, SWV.XE -3.81% asked the EU to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese solar-equipment imports. The company was also a plaintiff in the U.S. solar cases.

That move provoked a furious response from the affected Chinese solar companies, which warned that the dispute could spiral into a trade war.

Earlier this year, China said preliminary findings from a probe of six clean-energy projects in five U.S. states showed violations of international trade laws.

China is also locked in a heated trade dispute with the EU over the latter's plan to impose emissions taxes on aircraft traveling to Europe, and with the U.S., EU and Japan over its restrictions on exports of rare-earth minerals.

The disputes come at a difficult time for clean-energy companies. In the past year, several in the U.S. and EU have either gone out of business or reported sharp downturns in revenue, while some formerly profitable Chinese companies have started to post losses.

Among those filing for bankruptcy or going out of business are German companies Q-Cells QCE.XE +2.11% SE, Solar Millennium AG, S2M.XE -22.13% Solon SOO1.XE +6.25% SE and Solarhybrid AG, as well as U.S. manufacturer Solyndra LLC.

The leading Chinese producer of solar equipment, Suntech Power Holdings Co. STP -14.65% posted a first-quarter loss, with its revenue dropping by more than half from a year earlier.

Get market info about
Do business in
You want to read more about other markets?

Please choose the country you are interested in:

close x

This site in other countries