Skip to main content

Circumvention Issues Continue to Heat Up, Fourth Administrative Review Under Way

For this month’s update we’ll discuss administrative reviews, update scope requests, and developments in circumvention cases.  Each one has several moving pieces, so I’ll only address the key highlights.  However, this month we have the added story of how the AEC’s lobbying efforts help form U.S. trade policy in landmark legislation that recently became law. AECmembers: read the July issue of the AEC member newsletter, essentiALs, for more information.

The fourth administrative review has just begun.  Every year at this time, the Department of Commerce (DOC) reviews import data to select top aluminum extrusions exporters from the People’s Republic of China.  From this list, they will pick two or three companies for the Anti-Dumping (AD) case, and a similar number for the Countervailing Duty (CVD) case.  Chinese extruders are also offered a chance to seek a special rate by agreeing to disclose all of their production and/or sales data.  We will know which companies the DOC selects in the next few weeks.

The third administrative review is entering its final phase.  As reported last month, the DOC issued an incomplete preliminary ruling on the CVD case, and made an obvious error in its calculation in the AD case.  We expect to see a post-preliminary announcement from Commerce in mid-to-late August.  There is a growing optimism that the DOC will actually increase the rates.

Based on incoming evidence that we believe will be quite helpful in our 5xxx series alloy case, we have requested an extension to prepare our arguments.  That extension was granted.  I will update our progress next month.  Elsewhere on the scope request front, there were no new scope determinations announced by Commerce, and only two new requests.  Liberty Hardware Manufacturing Company asked for an exclusion on their shower door kits.  We will enter an appearance and ask for more information before going farther.  There was also a request from Ace Hardware regarding an extension pole product.  Products similar to this have already been excluded.  In cases with a strong precedent we generally do not respond.  We prefer to preserve our resources for more productive pursuits.

Circumvention issues continue to heat up.  I’ve received two more reports in the last month.  Both of them came from U.S. extrusion customers.  These are buyers of domestic aluminum extrusions that are abiding by the orders, but have competitors still importing product from China.  One of them filed an e-Allegation through the U.S. Customs’ website four years ago, yet has not heard a word from the government since.  It is frustrating for companies to go through this process. I’m learning that our current system is built so reporters of violations are required to use this system, but don’t get any feedback.  The pending Customs Re-Authorization Bill working its way through Congress now aims to address that issue.  I will address that in my special legislative report.

In summary, we’ve been encouraged that this year’s administrative review may be developing in a way that could lead higher tariffs for our orders.  That will be a first, if it happens.  While we anxiously want a ruling on the 5xxx series issue, new evidence will bolster our case thus causing us to seek an extension.  And, finally, circumvention reports and issues continue to be the hot topic.  We have a lot of resource aimed at these efforts that we expect will bring a result like we saw in Puerto Rico and Florida in recent months.

As always, I am grateful for your continued support!  Please direct comments to me directly at


Popular posts from this blog

AEC Duties Unchanged; “Trumponomics” Impacts Extruders

Our 6th Annual Administrative Review results have been announced.  As previously reported, the Department of Commerce (DOC) maintained extrusion tariffs at 86.01% for our subsidy, or countervailing duty (CVD), case and 20% for our anti-dumping (AD) case.  The combined duty of 106% has been stable since 2016.  This is a good number for the industry, which continues to contain Chinese aluminum extrusion at less than 1% market share. Furthermore, the DOC also assigned the Adverse Facts Available (AFA) rate of 198.61% to the two mandatory respondents, Liaoning Zhongwang Group Co., Ltd. and Liaoyang Zhongwang Aluminum Profile Co. Ltd., which has been the AFA rate since the 5th review.  The 7th Annual Administrative Review has begun with the selection of mandatory respondents. 

Elsewhere in our case, there is nothing new to report on the scope issues we are battling.  We continue to wait for court dates or decisions depending on the matter.  Our trade enforcement actions and results have ma…

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…

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…