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New US tariffs will have little impact on our business: Vestas CEO

  • Anders Runevad said his wind energy firm contributed to American jobs "in a big way"

The U.S. decision to impose tariffs on imported solar cells will have little impact on wind energy business Vestas, its CEO said Tuesday.

In an announcement Monday, the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that President Donald Trump had approved recommendations to impose "safeguard tariffs" on both imported solar cells and modules as well as imported large residential washing machines.

The tariff for solar cells and modules will last for four years. In year one it will be 30 percent, and will then decrease by 5 percent each year, reaching 15 percent in year four.

But Anders Runevad, group president and CEO of Vestas, told CNBC at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland that the move would have little effect.

"We are a global company and of course we support free global trade, but from a business impact point of view I would say (it's a) very limited impact on us," he said.

Runevad added that the U.S. was a big market for Vestas, with manufacturing and construction operations taking place there, and that the business contributed to American jobs "in a big way."

In 2017, Vestas' global order intake exceeded 10.5 gigawatts.