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Great News! The 5050 Appeal has been Won!

Since the industry won its 5050 alloy circumvention case, extruders across the country saw a return of orders from customers that went that direction.  With this case on appeal, there were legitimate concerns that all of this would be reversed.  However, the Department of Commerce (DOC) won its case at the Court of International Trade (CIT), and the industry is spared another round of disruption.  This is good news, indeed!

This win comes on the heels of our victory in the Vietnam circumvention case.  Since that preliminary decision was made, Vietnam has placed duties on Chinese imports.  We believe this in response to our circumvention case as reported here.

Also noteworthy: on May 1, 2019, the Department initiated anti-circumvention inquiries to determine whether imports of aluminum jalousie shutters that are processed in the Dominican Republic from window frame extrusions produced in China are circumventing the Orders. The Department also self-initiated a scope inquiry to determine…
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Work Focuses on Scope Challenges and Imports

This month our Fair Trade focus has shifted back to scope challenges.  At the same time, other issues are developing, which I will touch on in this report.  However, the key decision this month actually came from an adversary.  Whirlpool has dismissed its appeal in the appliance handle case.  This is a great development for us, as we have one less opponent in our quest to push the Department of Commerce (DOC) to return the interpretation of our scope back to the original language and its intent.  This decision from the courts confirms that the DOC cannot rule an item out of scope simply because it has additional non-extruded components.  It also reinforces the principle that a part cannot be ruled out of scope if it is a subassembly of a larger product.  These two issues are the legal pillars that will enhance our ability to keep more applications covered by our orders, and possibly seek a reversal from the DOC on items previously ruled out of scope.

One of those product categories in…

Scope of AEC Orders Gets Major Win

As you know, the success of the AEC’s trade orders against the Chinese aluminum extrusion industry has been built on the scope of our orders.  The AEC orders cover aluminum extrusions including fabricated, finished, and even kitted products as long as the merchandise in question does not make a final complete product.  This scope has enabled us to protect end uses such as curtain wall, door thresholds, window and door kits, and a whole range of products extruders routinely produce.  However, in 2016 the Department of Commerce decided in the side mount valve case that ‘final and finished’ must include sub-assemblies.  This decision caused a shift in the DOC’s views about which products would be covered by our orders.  Consequently, we saw solar mounting systems, as well as several tube, pipe, and pole products be excluded from our case.  This also breathed life into more scope challenges as importers saw a chance to get their sub-assemblies excluded as well.  One such product that fell…

Scope & Trade Enforcement Issues Dominate our Efforts

This month’s update will cover the key events related to the scope of our tariff orders.  This is the arena we’ve been focused upon in the last month.  Even so, we continue to work on trade enforcement issues, which I will also address.

There are three scope issues worth noting.  The first is the door threshold case.  Challenged by three importers, door thresholds with Chinese aluminum extrusions that were fabricated in either China or Vietnam were under review.  As reported in our trade alert in mid-January, the domestic industry prevailed in this matter.  It was an important victory because our trade orders specifically mention door thresholds as covered merchandise.  To have lost this case would have meant all aspects of our orders could be vulnerable to scope challenges.  It is also noteworthy to mention the penetration these importers had into the domestic product.  Some reported they had become the second, third, and fifth largest sellers of door thresholds in the U.S. This repr…

Keeping You in the Loop on AEC Fair Trade Issues

Since my last update, a few issues have been settled, and a couple more are pending.  I’ll use this update to bring you into the loop.  The curtain wall case has a hearing date (finally), our work with the EAPA program has shut down two operations, and the industry awaits a final decision in the RUSAL sanctions issue.  Meanwhile, there is no indication from the administration that they plan to grant Canada and Mexico an exclusion from 232 tariffs.

Curtain wall has been a big issue in the fair trade case in recent months.  The long awaited ‘final’ appeal on the scope decision to keep curtain wall covered by our orders has been set.  The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has scheduled oral argument on the Chinese exporters’ appeal of the Court of International Trade’s ruling that imports of Yuanda’s curtain wall units are subject to unfair trade tariffs on aluminum extrusions.  Oral arguments will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 5th at the Court (717 Madison Place, NW,…

2018 Year End Update

In the last few weeks we have advanced several open issues important to our trade case against China.  Meanwhile, critical macro-political issues remain open and pose risks to our market in 2019.  Let’s first discuss our case.

The Seventh Administrative Review is underway.  Preliminary results are expected in late January 2019.  The AEC withdrew its requests for mandatory respondents in October.  The Department of Commerce (DOC) will be selecting respondents in December. Given the history of reviews in recent years, there is a high likelihood that no respondents will come forward and rates will remain as they are today: 80% on the dumping case and 26% for the subsidy case.

Scope issues continue to be the most active legal element of our orders.  Working with Endura Products, we continue to push the DOC for a decision in the door threshold cases.  We are waiting for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to announce the date of the curtain wall appeal.  Also, briefi…

Relatively Quiet on the Aluminum Extrusion Fair Trade Front

This month our focus has been on the upcoming hearing for the appeal on the 5050 decision. AEC’s legal team has been preparing the Departments of Justice and Commerce for their upcoming litigation at the Court of International Trade.  Tai-Ao filed an appeal of the Department’s final 5050 circumvention determination, filing its summons on August 11, 2017 and complaint on August 31, 2017.  Our motion to intervene was granted on September 28, 2017.  This case has been consolidated with Regal’s appeal of the circumvention determination.  We filed response briefs on September 27, 2018 as did the Department of Justice.  Plaintiff’s reply briefs are due November 15, 2018.  After all the briefs have been submitted, oral arguments will be scheduled.  Most likely this will take place in the first quarter of 2019.

The 7th Administrative Review is underway.  We withdrew our Anti-dumping/coutervailing duties (AD/CVD) review requests on October 10, 2018.  Columbia, the only other company to request…