U.S. to impose new tariffs on wind towers from China

The Obama administration moved Wednesday to impose stiff new tariffs on wind-energy towers made in China, the latest strike in an escalating trade war over clean energy.

The Commerce Department said in a preliminary decision that Chinese companies have received government subsidies on steel wind towers ranging from about 14 percent to 26 percent. The decision could result in tariffs of those amounts being imposed on about a dozen Chinese companies that export large steel towers used in U.S. wind farms.

The decision follows a Commerce Department decision earlier this month to impose tariffs averaging about 31 percent on solar cells and panels imported from China.

China has called the U.S. action on solar equipment unfair and warned that U.S. tariffs could hurt efforts to promote clean energy. Four U.S. wind tower manufacturers complained in December that Chinese-subsidized rivals were harming their business and called for tariffs of more than 60 percent to offset Chinese subsidies.

The towers covered by the ruling are least 150 feet high and support turbines that generate at least 100 kilowatts of electricity each. The United States imported steel towers worth an estimated $222 million from China last year.


Amazon to collect sales tax from buyers who live in N.J.

Amazon.com, the world’s biggest online retailer, has agreed to collect 7 percent sales tax on purchases made in New Jersey starting next summer, the same time it plans to begin building two new distribution warehouses in the state.

The agreement, announced jointly by Gov. Chris Christie and Amazon executive Paul Meisner on Wednesday, could bring thousands of construction jobs and 1,500 permanent positions at the warehouses. The collection of sales taxes, which online retailers like Amazon are not required to do now, will bring the state an estimated $30 million to $40 million a year in new revenue.

Amazon has not picked the locations for the warehouses. The retailer will be eligible for state economic assistance grants totaling millions on its investment of $130 million.

Amazon collects no sales taxes from New Jersey customers now, but would have been required to do so once the warehouses open.

The retailer has agreed to build job-creating distribution centers in Indiana, California, Tennessee and South Carolina in exchange for sales tax exemptions. It had requested a 22-month sales tax exemption in New Jersey.


Facebook’s stock declines to nearly $10 below IPO price

After a brief reprieve in morning trading, Facebook’s stock once again closed lower Wednesday, nearly $10 below its initial public offering price.

Shares of Facebook Inc. dropped 65 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $28.19. It’s the third consecutive trading day that the stock has fallen from the previous close. It got some relief earlier in the day, going as high as $29.55.

Wednesday’s close is down about 26 percent from the stock’s IPO price of $38. Facebook began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on May 18.

– From news service reports