The controversy surrounding the import of clean energy technologies in the USA has heightened with news that a coalition of wind turbine tower manufacturers has filed a complaint against their Chinese and Vietnamese counterparts.

The Wind Tower Trade Coalition (WTTC) has filed petitions with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission alleging that wind tower manufacturers from China and Vietnam are ‘dumping’ cheap goods on the US market in order to gain market share.

The action follows that of a coalition of American solar panel manufacturers, who are concerned about the import of solar products from China.

The WTTC has four members and says that dumping margins by Chinese firms are as high as 64 per cent and those of Vietnamese manufacturers reach 59 per cent. The petitions cover only utility scale wind towers with a generating capacity of more than 100 kW and not other wind turbine components.

“The Chinese and Vietnamese industries are using unfair pricing practices to capture critical sales from the US industry. As a result, the industry and its workers have been injured by these imports of unfairly-priced imports,” said Alan H. Price, Chair of the International Trade Practice at law firm Wiley Rein LLP, which is representing the WTTC. “Additionally, the Chinese government has used, and continues to use, unprecedented levels of subsidization to push wind towers into the US market.”

Last year the US government took up a complaint filed by a group of solar panel firms known as the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) over trade practices by Chinese solar firms.

CASM believes that subsidies awarded to manufacturers by the Chinese government allow Chinese firms to dump goods on the US market at unfair prices and are harming the US solar energy sector.

China has responded to the US investigation by launching an investigation of its own into supporting policies provided for US renewable energy tech firms that export to China.

A second coalition of US solar panel manufacturers that is opposed to CASM’s action has also emerged.

The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) says that the US-China solar row is a “distraction” from bigger issues, and that the cheap made-in-China solar products have benefited US consumers.