Monday, May 23, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

Over the last 3 to 5 weeks, much of our activity in the China trade case has been behind the scenes.  Our Sunset Review filings are being finalized and delivered.  The 4th Administrative Review is a few weeks from a preliminary decision, and work on the scope requests is being conducted by our attorneys and the Department of Commerce (DOC).  However, this quiet work will come to its completion in the coming weeks and will either bring us lots of good news that translates into a resolution of many open issues, or put us in a position where we must restart the battles on many, if not all, fronts.

The most important determiner of our future is whether or not the International Trade Commission will call for a full or abbreviated Sunset Review.  The DOC has already ruled they are okay with a partial review.  We will know in a few weeks.

Next is how the Administrative Review unwinds this year.  Most of the major issues we’ve historically faced have been settled in prior reviews.  So, this process, which appears to be evolving into a routine activity, has few surprises in store for us.  We aim to maintain the gains we won last year when the combined rate ran up to the 80-108% range, depending on exporter.
Lastly, it comes down to the curtain wall scope issue.  We expect an appeal from the Curtain Wall Coalition and the DOC by the end of the year.  Until a decision on the Zhongwang pallets and 5000-series alloy extrusions we will be on pause awaiting the outcome. It will be a few weeks until we hear back on these issues.  The DOC is investigating and has up to 150 days to make a preliminary decision.

So, it was a great time to take a bit of a break from the case and enjoy a wonderful ET 2016 event.  If you were there, you saw the fantastic educational offerings, exhibit hall, and great networking.  While China trade was on the mind of a few, most were really fixated on the growth our industry has witnessed and how impressed we all were that we have come together as an industry to become better extruders so we can capture the many new applications being developed.