Monday, July 18, 2016

The Half -Million-Dollar Decision

In the last couple of blog entries I’ve mentioned that we are waiting for the International Trade Commission (ITC) to decide if our Sunset Review will be an expedited or full review.  Last week the ITC decided on a 3-3 vote to conduct a full review.  That not only extends the timeline to close the issue, but will end up costing the AEC upwards of $500,000 in staff and legal fees.  Needless to say, this was a most disappointing decision.

This decision does not cause us to downgrade our chances of winning.  As it was in the original filing, no Chinese extruder has come forward to challenge the base case.  Instead, there a couple of like-product challenges for products that have already been defined as covered in scope requests.  So when considering the size of the Chinese aluminum extrusion industry, having only two minor players come forward with scope issues, the decision by the ITC hurts even more.  While the AEC does have the budget and financing to cover this expense, it would have been nice to use that money elsewhere.  Regardless, we will move forward and our confidence remains high.

The circumvention/scope cases we filed against Zhongwang are underway.  The 5050-series circumvention case is going into its next phase.  We are insisting that the Department of Commerce (DOC) keep its word and send questionnaires out to all suspected importers and exporters of 5050-series aluminum extrusions in order to make a global decision on this scheme.  In the pallet case against Zhongwang, we have submitted our final questionnaire and will push the DOC to see these so-called pallets as nothing more than fabricated extrusions and call them ‘in scope’ and therefore subject to duties.

On the curtain wall front, all sides have issued their comments to the Court and are awaiting the Court’s decision.  One likely outcome is that the case will be heard in the Appellant Court later this year or early 2017. We will continue to monitor this situation.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve received a number of reports regarding Vietnamese extrusions coming into the U.S.  There is a growing concern that these extrusions are Chinese products being transshipped through Vietnam.  So, we’ve sent a Trade Alert out to our membership asking for any anecdotal information about this topic that might be helpful as we investigate.  If you have something to share, please do not hesitate to contact me directly: jhenderson@tso.net, 847-416-7222.

In summary, it’s fair to say that our case appears on the right track.  That is the important thing. While it’s disappointing we didn’t get the decision we wanted at the ITC, it doesn’t impact our chances of victory.  Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks.  And again, thank you for your continued support!

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