U.S. wind tower manufacturers, already facing the expiration of a tax credit that has pumped up demand for wind energy projects, on Thursday pleaded for a U.S. government panel to approve steep duties on imports from China and Vietnam.

"The American wind tower industry has been devastated by Chinese and Vietnamese trade practices," Kerry Cole, president of Trinity Structural Towers, the largest remaining U.S. producer of utility scale wind towers, told the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The hearing came just before a final Commerce Department determination on Tuesday of whether Chinese and Vietnamese wind tower manufacturers are unfairly undercutting U.S. prices.

Earlier this year, the department said Chinese towers were being sold at 20.85 percent to 72.69 percent below fair market value and Vietnamese towers at discounts of 52.67 to 59.91 percent.

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