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Trump Not Interested in ‘Saving’ the Aluminum Market & Cheaters BEWARE!

On Thursday, May 31, President Trump announced that he is “taking action to protect America’s national security from the effects of global oversupply of steel and aluminum” by imposing a 10% tariff on aluminum imports from some of our strongest allies and aluminum industry partners: Canada, Mexico and the European Union.  The implementation of these tariffs follows “extensive discussions and a months-long process” after the initial proclamations in March. In an article posted on whitehouse.gov, the statement notes that “[the] President made it clear that the Administration was willing to work with those countries to find separate arrangements that would meet the national security requirements of the United States.” The statement goes on to read, “Current quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports into the United States threaten to impair national security. These excessive imports are driven in large part by the worldwide glut from overproduction by other countries.”

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Our China Trade Case – Remember That?

It’s sometimes hard to remember that the AEC has a trade case against China.  With all of the news regarding the 232 Investigation, the Russian Sanctions, and the fallout we’ve experienced, I find myself having to leave tasks on my calendar to be sure I am dialed into the ins and outs of our anti-dumping/countervailing duties (AD/CVD) cases.  When I do review the cases and get dialed in again, I am quite happy with how it’s going.

That’s because our initiatives are starting to gain traction.  Take, for example, our Vietnam Circumvention case.  The deadline for filing briefs in this matter has come and gone with no reply from the other side.  Therefore, we are in a strong position to ask the Department of Commerce for their preliminary ruling so that duties can be applied at once.  The final ruling in this matter is due December 24, 2018.  However, the sooner we can get to a preliminary decision, the better for our domestic industry.  There will be more to come on this in the coming we…

Aluminum 232 Investigation & Fair Trade Update

This month we will look at the 232 Investigation and provide an update on our Fair Trade case.  After having lived, eaten, and slept the 232 Investigation for the last 11 months, it is hard to believe it’s nearly over.  I say nearly over, because the aluminum industry now has an opportunity to seek exclusions by country or product.  Furthermore, the President has made it clear to excluded countries that they are only conditionally excluded pending the outcome of other trade negotiations.  Nevertheless, the AEC’s shuttle diplomacy to Washington D.C. on this matter is, for all intents and purposes, complete.

Countries and individual companies have already started to seek exclusions.  Both Canada and Mexico were initially excluded, based on a positive outcome to the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations.  Other countries have also been excluded since the announcement.  Now we are seeing and hearing of many companies coming forward seeking specific product exc…

Fair Trade Update: Curtain Wall, Door Thresholds & Vietnam

Well, our year is off and running with a bang. Scope issues, Administrative Review, and circumvention top our list in early 2018.

This month we learned that there will be an appeal in the curtain wall scope case.  Permasteelisa and Jangho filed a notice of appeal last week.  It is expected that Yuanda will almost surely file their own notice of appeal by the deadline, which is February 12. The Chinese industry signaled that they would appeal in a recent article in US Glass magazine.   

Additionally, our scope challenge related to door thresholds continues to move forward.  This is a significant case because door thresholds are expressly mentioned as subject merchandise in our trade orders.  So, to lose this application could open the door to many applications clearly covered by our case.  Finally, we continue to await the judges’ (there are more than one judge at the CIT) decision in the appliance handles cases we defended last fall.  We believe we will win.  However, we are mostly i…

Fair Trade Update: 2018 Preview

This month, our update is more forward looking than a review.  All eyes are on the 232 Investigation and what policy decisions will come from the President when the report is issued to him later this month. The AEC will issue a trade alert as soon as we hear anything in this regard.

This year, most of our Fair Trade efforts will be focused on trade enforcement.  For several months we have collected data and have collaborated with others in an effort to identify those that are working to evade duties through circumvention and transshipment schemes.  Members will see a series of announcements in this area in the coming weeks.  Just last week, the AEC filed a new circumvention petition on Chinese extrusions being circumvented through Vietnam.

Scope issues are still being pursued in the door threshold and curtain wall cases.  Last year’s decision in the curtain wall case in our favor maintains the Curtain Wall Coalition’s winning streak.  However, as we have learned by our past experience…

Heating Up & Settling Down: The Dichotomy of our Trade Case

The agenda for our trade case continues to be driven by transshipment/circumvention issues and the 232 Investigation.  Meanwhile, our ‘base case’ is so quiet that we’ve been able to free up budget dollars from the Administrative Review to finance our circumvention case against Vietnam.

The Administrative Review is now complete.  The final rates determined by the Department of Commerce are 86% for countervailing duty (CVD) and 16% for anti-dumping duty (AD).  The total of 102% is our highest rate since we first filed the case.

Scope issues have calmed down a lot.  In fact, only the curtain wall case, the appliance handles case, and door threshold cases are on the front burner.  Reports from the hearing for the curtain wall case were very positive.  The attorney leading that effort, David Spooner, is quite confident we will win this round.  Of course, we fully expect another appeal from the Chinese.  We are awaiting the decision from the judge in the appliance handle cases and believe w…

Closing the Year with a 232 Bang!

The Trump Administration's 232 Investigation into the national security implications of imported aluminum has roared back to life. Government agencies, elected officials, and industry leaders have restarted this investigation, which had been put on the back burner by the administration as they grappled with the new tax bill.  With the January 27, 2018 deadline for the Department of Commerce to issue its recommendations to the president nearing, we have a lot of work to do to press our case.
During a workshop at our Aluminum Summit in Denver in September we discussed the key issues, the threats from this action, and the opportunity.  It was overwhelming agreed that we owe it to our industry to stay involved.  So, over the coming weeks we will be finalizing our remedy and taking it to D.C. to make our case.  We aim to go back to all of the government agencies we visited this summer and to Capitol Hill where we enjoyed a lot of support for our position.  This is where you can help.  …