Monday, June 15, 2015

June Shaping Up to be Busy Month for Fair Trade

This month has shaped up so far to be a hectic and busy month on the AEC Fair Trade front. Three main issues have been at the forefront: the results of the Department of Commerce (DOC) announcement of its Preliminary Decision in the Third Administrative Review, the developments from Washington D.C. in the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, and circumvention.

Preliminary Results of Third Administrative Review
The DOC announced what amounts to a ‘preliminary’ preliminary finding in our industry’s third administrative review.  The Preliminary Decision was released June 2, 2015.  Here is the breakdown of their determination thus far: Anti-Dumping (AD) rates remain at 33%.  Jangho and Yuanda, the first & second mandatory respondents, received Adverse Facts Available (AFA), which is 33%.  It was announced that the third mandatory respondent, Union, received 0%.  However, there was a glaring error in that calculation.  So, the DOC will have to go back, recalculate, and announce the right figure.  It is unclear when they will do that.  The “All Others” category remained at 32%.

On the Countervailing Duty (CVD) side, the rates were in the low single digits, but the announcement did not include the calculation for primary aluminum, extrusion, or glass (in the case of JangHo).  Since these are the most significant elements in calculating the margin, we see the rates announced as too incomplete to justify any comment at this time.  It is not clear when the DOC will announce the full calculation.  They could do so in a few weeks in a ‘post’ Preliminary Decision, or wait until December when they are due to announce their Final Determination.  The rates announced were: Jangho – 1.61%, Guanga – 4.83%, and All Others – 3.22%.  Due to the DOC’s current backlog, they have recently been announcing incomplete results in their preliminary decisions.  So, the partial announcement is not an indication of the final result – good or bad.

What is promising is that the DOC did use Thailand as the surrogate country, as we had hoped, and will include glass in the calculations for the two extruders that supply extrusions in curtain wall applications.

TPA Bill
On the Hill in the last few days, there has been headline news generated as the debate continues on the Trade Promotion Authority bill and its amendments.  Last Friday, breaking news out of Washington pronounced the death of TPA and a major defeat for the administration.  However, our amendment, Customs Reauthorization, did pass.   The latest information is that only the TAA bill and TPA are absolutely linked. Customs reauthorization, which contains our provisions, may be able to be conferenced without the other bills passing. While we don't think that will happen, it is an interesting wrinkle.  All in all - this has been a very successful effort to get this far! Now we just need to get our provisions through a conference.  Be on alert for another email asking for your continued help!

And finally: circumvention.  As you may have seen in our trade alert a couple of weeks ago, the main defendant in the Puerto Rico case was sentenced to 18 months in prison.  This was great news for our industry, because it sent the message to those that are circumventing our orders that jail time is a real possibility if caught.  Circumvention is the most active component of our China Trade workload these days at headquarters.  Right now, there are upwards of 10 cases at various stages of investigation.  I head to Washington later this month, where I will discuss legal and political opportunities for the industry in dealing with these cases.  It is becoming clear to me that certain Chinese extruders are driving this activity, and it’s time for us to find a path to address them at a higher level.  Stay tuned for more updates.  I am pleased to announce that Michael Walsh, Director, ADCVD Policy & Programs Division, U.S. Customs, has accepted our invitation to speak at the AEC Management conference this September.  I think his presence at our conference, and his message, will come at an opportune time.

Thanks to your continued support and efforts, we have engaged those that leveraged unfair and illegal trade actions to dismantle our domestic market.  I am pleased to say that on every front we continue to gain ground.  Stay tuned and be ready!

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