The U.S. Commerce Department has preliminarily determined that Chinese manufacturers of utility-scale wind turbine towers receive government subsidies ranging from 13.74 percent to 26 percent, and will move forward with assessing countervailing duties on these imports.
As a result of the preliminary affirmative determination, Commerce will instruct Customs and Border Protection to collect a cash deposit from importers based on these preliminary rates.
In specific, import duties of 26 percent will be assessed on imports of wind turbine towers from Titan Wind Energy (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. (Titan Wind), Titan Lianyungang Metal Products Co. Ltd. (Titan Lianyungang), Baotou Titan Wind Energy Equipment Co. Ltd. (Titan Baotou), and Shenyang Titan Metal Co. Ltd. (Titan Shenyang), while CS Wind China Co. Ltd., CS Wind Tech (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., and CS Wind Corp. (collectively, CS Wind) will be assessed duties of 13.74 percent. All other Chinese producers/exporters will be assessed duties of 19.87 percent.
Utility-scale wind towers have a minimum height of 50 meters and are designed to support turbines with generating capacities in excess of 100 kilowatts.
Commerce estimates that in 2011 imports of Chinese-made utility-scale wind towers were $222 million.
The Wind Tower Trade Coalition (WTTC) petitioned Commerce for the investigation on Dec. 29, 2011. The coalition’s members include Broadwind Towers, Manitowoc, Wis.; DMI Industries, Fargo, N.D.; Katana Summit, Columbus, Neb.; and Trinity Structural Towers, Dallas.
Alan H. Price, chairman of Wiley Rein's International Trade Practice and lead counsel to the WTTC, said, "this is an important step in remedying the harm caused by unfairly traded wind tower exports. We look forward to further relief when antidumping duties are announced in about two months."
Commerce is scheduled to make its final determination for the countervailing duty investigation in August.
If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination, and the U.S. International Trade Commission makes an affirmative final determination that imports of utility scale wind towers from China injure domestic industry, Commerce will issue a countervailing duty order. If either Commerce or the ITC’s final determination is negative, no countervailing duty order will be issued. The ITC is scheduled to make its final injury determinations in September.
Commerce is also scheduled to issue its preliminary determination in the companion antidumping investigation against wind towers from China and Vietnam on July 26. If Commerce makes an affirmative determination, preliminary antidumping duties will also be collected at that time.