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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…
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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.  …

WOW! Did he say ‘Billion’?

The biggest news to hit the trade case came last month.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint against Perfectus seeking $1.5 Billion in unpaid duties for the fake pallets exported to the United States.  The DOJ didn’t pull any punches in their submission.  From the complaint, the DOJ stated, “Zhongtian Liu, a Chinese national, is the founder and chairman of China Zhongwang, one of the world’s largest industrial aluminum extrusion companies. Zhongtian Liu controls and is effectively the owner of Perfectus Aluminum, Inc. (“Perfectus”).  Between 2011 and at least 2014, Zhongtian Liu used Perfectus to illegally import more than 2.1 million aluminum “pallets” from China into the United States, as described in detail below.2 The “pallets” were manufactured by China Zhongwang and/or its affiliates and “sold” to Perfectus by several intermediary entities, including Dalian Liwang Trade Co., Ltd., Zhongwang Investment Group, and Yingkou Quianxiang Trading. Many of these intermediar…

It’s Been a Busy Summer

It has certainly been an interesting summer for our trade orders.  We have had several very favorable decisions in our case.  In fact, one might say we ‘ran the table’.  Here is a summary of those decisions.

At the end of June, the Department of Commerce (DOC) issued its preliminary decision in their Fifth Administrative Review of the duties being applied in our case.  In that decision the DOC established a new tariff level of 86% on the antidumping (AD) side, and 20% in the countervailing duty (CVD) case for a combined tariff of 106%.  This is nearly double what was calculated last year.  This is especially impactful in circumstances where kits are being imported.  Because the extrusions are the only item taxed in a kit, or say, a curtain wall unit, the other elements of the kit may be subsidized by the Chinese enough to offset the extrusion tariff on the extrusions.  We have every confidence that the DOC will stick with these numbers when they announce their final determination late…

Fair Trade Update: Running the Table

We couldn’t be happier to announce that the AEC has won its 6000-series alloyed pallet and 5050 alloy scope clarification/circumvention cases against Zhongwang and others.  Just last week, the Department of Commerce (DOC) ruled that 5050 alloyed extrusions will be subject to our orders regardless of producer, exporter, or importer.  Read the full details about the decision here.

Furthermore, the deadline has passed for any appeals on last month’s decision from the DOC on the fake pallets from Zhongwang.  These decisions, which come on the heels of our successful Sunset Review earlier this year, are tantamount to "running the table" this year!

Even so, threats still exist.  We continue to hear reports of possible circumvention and transshipment of extrusions into the U.S. from Vietnam and Malaysia.  Additionally, the Trump Administration’s decision to order a 232 Investigation into the impact of aluminum imports on national security could lead to tariffs on imports of primar…

Aluminum in the Spotlight

On April 26, 2017, the Secretary of Commerce (“Secretary”) initiated an investigation to determine the effects of aluminum imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (“Section 232”).  On April 27, President Trump signed a memorandum directing Secretary Ross to proceed expeditiously in conducting this investigation.  The President further directed that if the Secretary finds that aluminum is being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances to threaten U.S. national security, he must recommend actions and steps to “adjust” aluminum imports accordingly.  This has become the central point of discussion throughout the industry.  You can read more about it in my comments on the 232 Investigation this month in the June issue AEC's member newsletter essentiALs (you will need to log in as a member to view it). For now, let’s discuss our case and its latest developments.

With the Sunset Review clearly in our rear-vie…

Fair Trade Update: Opportunities and Risk

Over the last thirty days the AEC has begun to feel the impacts of the new administration.  Last month, the administration initiated a 232 Hearing into the domestic aluminum industry.  Just one week prior to that, Trump initiated a 232 Hearing into the domestic steel industry.  Both of these were requested by the United Steel Workers (USW).  (As you may recall, the USW led a short-lived effort to launch a 201 hearing about this time last year.)  You can read more about the 232 process and what it might mean to the AEC here (note: you must be signed in as a member to view the content).  The long and the short of it is that this is both an opportunity and a risk for our industry.  The AEC will be participating in the process as it is imperative that we make our voice heard.  In preparation of that task, we will need your help.  The 232 process grants the U.S. president a wide range of options to address negative trade issues upon U.S. industries based on national security issues.

Theref…