China Voices 'Deep Concern' Over U.S. Wind Tower Probe

Investigation by U.S. Commerce Department will examine whether towers from China and Vietnam were subsidized and sold at less than fair value.

China expressed "deep concern" Saturday after the U.S. launched a probe into Chinese wind towers that it suspects of being unduly subsidized and sold at a loss on the American market.

"The act will not only hamper bilateral cooperation in the field of new energy and harm the interests of U.S. industries, but also go against global efforts to tackle the challenges of climate change and energy security," China's Ministry of Commerce said on its website.

"China expresses its deep concern over the case," it added.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Thursday that it had opened an inquiry on wind towers made in China and Vietnam, following a complaint filed by an association of four U.S. manufacturers.

The petitioner for these investigations is the Wind Tower Trade Coalition, comprised of Broadwind Towers, Manitowoc, Wisc.; DMI Industries, Fargo, N.D.; Katana Summit, Columbus, Neb.; and Trinity Structural Towers, Dallas.

"China hopes the U.S. side can respect relevant laws and facts, and abide by the commitment made at the G20 summit in Cannes that all countries should avoid introducing new trade protectionism measures," China's Ministry of Commerce said.

A wind tower is the structure that supports the engine and blades used to generate wind energy, and the tower captures that energy.

If the probe reveals the towers have been sold at a loss, the U.S. could take out anti-dumping measures, conforming to the rules set down by the World Trade Organization.

In 2010, imports of utility-scale wind towers from China and Vietnam were valued at an estimated $103.6 million and $51.9 million, respectively, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011; IndustryWeek contributed to this report

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