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  • Monday, December 17, 2012


    US wind tower producers plead for duties on China, Vietnam

    Doug Palmer, December 13, 2012 (Reuters)

    “U.S. wind tower manufacturers, already facing the expiration of a tax credit that has pumped up demand for wind energy projects…[pleaded] for a U.S. government panel to approve steep duties on imports from China and Vietnam…[at a hearing ahead of] a final Commerce Department determination…of whether Chinese and Vietnamese wind tower manufacturers are unfairly undercutting U.S. prices…Earlier this year, the department said Chinese towers were being sold at 20.85 percent to 72.69 percent below fair market value and Vietnamese towers at discounts of 52.67 to 59.91 percent…

    “…Preliminary anti-dumping duties could rise or fall next week, but the ITC has to find U.S. producers have been materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by the imports for duties to take effect. That decision is expected by late January…[The presidents of the two biggest US tower manufacturers of the tall steel towers used to support the large turbines…[whose customers include GE and Siemens] told the panel the past five years have been brutal for the U.S. wind tower industry as they lost market share to imports from China and Vietnam…”

    “Five major U.S. producers, two of whom were petitioners in this investigation, have shut down tower operations and left the industry. Others have been forced to curtail production, shutter facilities and lay off workers, all as the result of the surge of dumped and subsidized imports [one said]…U.S. tower producers were particularly upset when GE went with Chinese suppliers for the 338-tower Shepherds Flat project in eastern Oregon, which is expected to be completed next year and is billed as the world's largest wind farm…

    “GE did not testify at [the hearing but] an attorney representing Siemens said duties were unwarranted because domestic producers had not produced any evidence of under-selling by Chinese or Vietnamese competitors…[There is ample evidence, another attorney testified, of petitioners] turning down orders because they did not have the capacity to deliver. So their loss of market share was due to their inability to produce more, not foreign imports…The wind tower producers at the hearing said they expect demand for new towers to be weak in 2013 even if the tax credit is renewed…That makes it critical that duties are imposed on imports from China and Vietnam, they said.”


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