By Ross Tyler, Business Network for Offshore Wind
Last year US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the appointment of the Business Network’s Executive VP Ross Tyler to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC). This appointment gives the Network a seat at the table to advise policymakers on ways to improve the industry’s export competitiveness. The Network remains mindful that as the US offshore wind sector pipeline strengthens, there will be an increasing rationale and justification to cluster the supply chain activities including the manufacturing of offshore wind Tier I, II and III components with the USA.
The REEEAC met earlier this month in Washington DC. As a member of the Manufacturing Subcommittee, Ross learned that some renewable energy and energy efficiency imported products may be classified to match with US 6-digit codes of the Harmonized Tariff Schedules (HTS). Such 6-digit codes may have a broad description and allow finished components to be imported either without tariff or low tariff. However, there is potential that the classification used for importing some specific components with their associated HTS codes may impose higher tariffs than for an imported finished component, thereby discouraging the commercial advantages of assembling or manufacturing in the United States.
To enable a more favorable environment for US manufacturing of energy related products, the Network is working with other REEEAC members to develop recommendations to the Department of Commerce. Specifically, they are exploring a new mechanism to review the classification of energy related components and products which may include using an expanded classification with the 8-digit HTS codes. The Network will continue to advocate for the industry and keep its members updated on REEEAC’s activities. Contact Ross Tyler for more information: [email protected].