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AWEA 2018: Turbine makers respond to tariff threat

UNITED STATES: President Donald Trump's potential tariffs of 25% on imported steel would clearly be a factor for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), said Josh Irwin, vice-president sales Vestas North America.

Turbine OEMs are still waiting to see if Trump's administration will impose a 25% tariff on imported steel
Turbine OEMs are still waiting to see if Trump's administration will impose a 25% tariff on imported steel

Speaking at a Windpower 2018's large wind turbine manufacturer forum, Irwin noted that steel prices in the US are already 30% higher than they were a year ago, though the potential tariffs have not yet been imposed.

"The good news is that wind will remain the best in terms of LCOE," he said.

During the same session, David Sale, CEO of Goldwind Americas, was asked about another punitive trade barrier that might be imposed by Trump's administration.

A tariff of 25% could be slapped on certain wind energy products imported to the US from China. It is not yet clear which products would be included.

Goldwind Americas, a subsidiary of China's Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, imports nacelles, generators and inverters from China.

Sale hinted at a possible reponse. Goldwind has a commitment to internationalism, he noted. "We have some inherent fexibilities to do some creative and protective things," he said.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) will hold its Windpower 2018 conference and exhibition in Chicago (7-10 May). Windpower Monthly will bring all of the coverage from the show across the week. 

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