U.S. Moves Forward With Tarriffs on Chinese Wind Turbine Towers
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Commerce Department pushed a trade case on imported wind- turbine towers closer to its final resolution on Tuesday, affirming a prior ruling that manufacturers in China and Vietnam received subsidies and sold into the U.S. market and unfairly low prices.
The decision paved the way for permanent tariffs on the imports, so long as the U.S. International Trade Commission backs the duties in a vote expected next month.
It was the second U.S. trade action to move ahead in the midst of a battle over clean-energy subsidies, following tariffs against Chinese solar panel producers that were made final last month. In response, China has opened probes into allegedly illegal subsides to U.S. solar companies.
Tuesday's decision targeted wind towers, huge steel structures that hold up school bus-sized turbine blades. The products are a relatively small piece of the renewable-energy market, with imports valued at around $300 million in 2011.
A spokesman at the Chinese embassy in Washington didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since the U.S. opened the trade case, Chinese industry officials have said the tariffs would hurt the U.S. wind industry by raising costs in the supply chain.
A group of four U.S. manufacturers filed a petition with the department earlier this year asking for an investigation of allegedly unfair subsidies to Asian competitors. The largest companies in the group are Broadwind Energy ( BWEN) and Trinity Industries (TRN). Two other members are no longer producing, said Alan Price, an attorney with Wiley Rein LLP who represents the group.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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I think that the near-term driver for this stock is the PTC getting tacked onto a fiscal cliff deal. If that happens BWEN will fly. Meanwhile, I suspect that most of the recent, moderate volume selling has come from folks taking tax losses.