Skip to main content

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.

Therefore, we have sent templates out to members asking them to identify the tonnage shipped to certain end uses we believe fall under the national security banner.  We must do this with urgency as Trump has made it clear they will not be using the full timeline available to them to make decisions.

As an industry, our orders have served us well.  However, we still see too many end use applications being excluded from our orders.  Also, we continue to receive multiple reports of possible transshipment and circumvention of our orders.  These are two areas in which we could find relief from the 232 order.  On the other hand, some may want to see tariffs placed on foreign ingot.  On this, we cannot support duties on ingot.  This will put the U.S. industry on an uneven playing field with the global market.  So, we have a duel role in our involvement in this case, enhance our orders, and resist any duties on foreign ingot.

Elsewhere, the AEC has issued its support for the investigation underway concerning China’s request to be recognized as a market economy.  Our voice along with dozens of our industries should provide the administration with all it needs to address China’s overcapacity issues and their market economy status.

Our case continues to move forward.  The next announcement we expect will be from the DOC on our administrative review.  We should see the preliminary rates for 2017/2018 in the coming weeks.  No surprises are expected.  There’s not been much movement on our scope cases since last month.  However, we do expect a final ruling on the aluminum pallets next month, and a final decision on the 5050 circumvention case shortly thereafter. On the curtain wall case, we are awaiting the new judge’s decision on how he would like to proceed.  Whether he makes a decision based on the record or calls for a hearing, there will be at least one more court case on this scope challenge.

In summary, just when our case was starting to take a deep breath, we find a new opportunity to improve our position, and in the middle of some of the most unprecedented trade maneuverings our industry has ever seen.

For more information on AEC's fight for fair trade, be sure to visit AECFairTrade.org.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Several Key Issues in Play

As we head into December there are several key issues in play.

Sunset Review Wiley Rein has gathered information from the industry and is quickly converting that into a filing for our case.  They have told me that we had a good representation of the industry in the data collected.

Remaining Timeline January 10, 2017Prehearing Report Issued
January 18, 2017 Prehearing Briefs
January 19, 2017 Request to appear at Hearing
January 25, 2017 Prehearing Conference
January 26, 2017 Hearing
February 6, 2017 Post-Hearing Briefs
February 23, 2017 Report to the Commission (APO Release)
March 1, 2017         APO Release
March 3, 2017         Final Comments
March 10, 2017         Commission Vote
March 27, 2017         Determination Expected

Administrative Review We received the DOC’s final determination in this year’s Administrative Review.  As expected, Commerce found that Chinese producers dumped aluminum extrusions in the U.S. market during the period of review (May 2014-April 2015) in margins r…

Chinese Extrusion Transshipments through Vietnam

In recent months there have been a growing number of reports about aluminum extrusions being imported into the United States from Vietnam.  This recent spike comes at a time when the AEC is watching such reports and import data very carefully.  Given the current policies of the Government of China to export their way out of their self-created overcapacity problems, the AEC is becoming more concerned about the prospect of transshipments from Chinese extruders through Vietnam.

AEC members are asked to contact Jeff Henderson with any reports gathered from the field regarding Vietnamese extrusions coming into the U.S.  All reports will be treated in strict confidence.  It must be determined whether or not there is a pattern in what is being imported.  This pattern could appear in end use markets being targeted, names of the companies exporting product from Vietnam, types of extrusions and finishing, etc.

So, please let Jeff know what you are seeing in the field.  He can be reached at 847.…

Special Report: Details Behind the China Zhongwang Case Filing

As noted in our post from October 23, the Aluminum Extruders Council filed a Circumvention and Scope Clarification case against China Zhongwang (ZW).  Mounting evidence from private investigators, testimony from former employees, data from online import and export databases, and anecdotal evidence from a variety of reporters and other sources made it quite clear that ZW has consistently and systematically been exporting aluminum extrusions that are simply welded together into what are essentially aluminum slabs.  While they claim these so-called ‘deep-processed’ extrusions are aluminum pallets, there is no evidence that ZW or any of its U.S. based operations market such a product.  It is simply incomprehensible that a company would export hundreds of millions of pounds of these extrusions into the U.S. without even marketing them.

The feedback we’ve received so far indicate that ZW intends to do with these extrusions what they have done in Mexico and Vietnam with similar schemes: sen…