The International Trade Administration (ITA), under the United States Department of Commerce, has recommended the imposition of a countervailing duty on Indian manufacturers of wind power equipment. The recent measures are a stark reminder of the Obama-era battle within the World Trade Organization (WTO) between India and the United States to protect the local renewable energy industry from the latter.
With Democrats led by Joe Biden now in power, the US clean energy lobby appears to be back in action.
An opinion from the Commerce Department said: “The Commerce Department determines on a preliminary basis that compensatory subsidies are provided to producers and exporters of large-scale wind towers from India. The investigation period runs from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. “
In November last year, the US Department of Commerce published the initiation of a countervailing duty investigation on large-scale wind towers from India.
In February 2021, nine new allegations of additional subsidies were filed and the ministry recommended that eight programs be investigated.
Government of India programs under review include Priority Sector Lending Program, Concessional Tariff Exemption Certificate, and Strengthening Competitiveness in the Capital Goods Sector: Acquisition Fund Program. technologies. Incentives to industries as part of Gujarat’s industrial policy are also being investigated.
The ITA said: “The commodity covered by this investigation consists of certain wind towers, conical or not, and their sections. Some wind turbines support the nacelle and rotor blades of a wind turbine with a minimum rated power generation capacity. This exceeds 100 Kw and with a minimum height of 50m measured from the base of the tower to the bottom of the nacelle when fully assembled.
Vestas Wind Technology India is the only exporter / producer individually examined in this investigation. The Commerce Department has preliminarily set a subsidy of 3.74 percent. It estimated a rate of 397.16% (subsidy) against Naiks Brass & Iron Works, Nordex India, Prommada Hindustan, Suzlon Energy, Vinayaka Energy Tek, Wish Energy Solutions and Zeeco India based on available adverse facts.
This aggressive posture of the US government is similar to the position taken during the Democrats’ previous visit to the United States. India had been criticized at the WTO for its national content requirement clause in public tenders.
The United States then alleged that the Indian tenders discriminated against American companies wishing to participate in India’s solar energy deployment programs. India lost this case at the WTO in 2016.