International Trade Cases on Renewable Energy Products Keep Growing

On December 18 and 20, international trade authorities in the US and EU issued antidumping determinations on, respectively, wind tower and ethanol imports.  Both cases must complete additional phases before final decisions are reached, but they reflect a continuing trend around the world for domestic industries to seek protection under their countries’ international trade laws against imports they regard as unfairly priced below cost or subsidized.  For an earlier post on these types of cases, see http://sustainability-counsel.com/2012/11/01/solar-dumping-dispute-continues-to-flare/

The December 18 final determination announced by the US Commerce Department found that Chinese and Vietnamese wind turbine tower manufacturers had sold products in the US market at prices between 45 and 71 percent below the selling price of comparable towers made by US producers.  (See  http://ia.ita.doc.gov/download/factsheets/factsheet_china-vietnam-uswt-adcvd-final-20121218.pdf.)  If the US International Trade Commission concludes that US industry has been injured by this activity in a final determination due by January 31, 2013, wind turbine tower imports from those countries will be subject to significant offsetting tariffs, likely making it impossible for them to sell in the US market.

Two days later, European Union member countries endorsed a proposed 9.6 percent duty on US ethanol imports, based on allegations that the ethanol products were sold at less than fair value.  (See http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/9395/eu-member-states-vote-to-go-ahead-with-anti-dumping-tariff.)  The EU rejected claims that ethanol imports had benefited from US subsidies.  US ethanol producers dispute the adverse dumping finding, which will go next to the EU Council and then the EU Commission for votes expected by the end of February.  An EU guide to its antidumping case process is available at http://ec.europa.eu/trade/tackling-unfair-trade/trade-defence/anti-dumping/index_en.htm.

Jane C. Luxton, Esq.

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