The United States imported an estimated $222 million worth of the wind towers from China last year, according to the Commerce Department.

Green_Wind_TurbineThe Commerce Department made a preliminary decision to impose new tariffs on imports of wind energy towers from China, the latest volley in an escalating trade war between the two superpowers over expanding green technology markets.

The move by Commerce also reflects a show of strength by the Obama administration against China at a time when presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has criticized the administration for going soft.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration — responding to a petition from U.S. wind tower manufacturers — said a group of Chinese producers and exporters has received production subsidies ranging from roughly 14 to 26 percent that warrant new U.S. tariffs of the same extent.

The decision, and more broadly the success of U.S. green energy companies, is shot through with political ramifications for President Obama, who is emphasizing on the stump that the United States should not cede growing renewable energy markets to China, which aggressively supports its domestic industry.

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Source: Ben Geman | The Hill