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The U.S. wind sector held a $146 million trade surplus over their Asian counterparts, according to a Pew Charitable Trust report on trade relations between the U.S. and China.

The report, titled "Advantage America: The U.S.-China Clean Energy Trade Relationship in 2011," focused on wind, photovoltaic and energy smart technologies.

The report concluded that America's clean energy trade strength is derived from leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as the global presence of American companies, notes Pew.

The U.S. wind industry excels in sales of relatively high-margin specialty materials, such as fiberglass, and sensitive electronic and other control systems. China's largest sales were in turbine towers and rotors. China's clean energy industry has an advantage in large-scale manufacturing and high-volume assembly of certain clean energy products.

However, the report notes that tensions between the two countries have been heightened in recent years by fiercely competitive market conditions affecting companies in both countries, as well as several high-profile trade cases.

Pew says that wind energy was the smallest of clean energy trade sectors examined, with more than $923 million worth of wind energy goods and services exchanged between the U.S. and China in 2011.

Overall, the U.S. and China traded more than $8.5 billion worth of clean energy goods and services in 2011, with the U.S. companies enjoying a $1.63 billion sales advantage over their Chinese counterparts.


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