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 made their way into Customs’ pipeline. It appears we may have caught another importer in violation of the orders, which will be the fourth this year.
Related to enforcement issues, I am excited that at this year’s fall Management Conference we will have Carrie Owens, Director of Enforcement Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trade Remedy Law Enforcement Directorate speaking to us about the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) program we have used for these cases. Furthermore, Ms. Owens’ colleague, Marisa Hill, Supervisory International Trade Analyst for CPB will be presenting in one of our breakout workshops. She will teach us how to file an e-allegation. If you suspect trade violations, then you MUST attend this session!
Extruders and suppliers continue to adapt to the new rules initiated by the Trump administration. For the 232, exclusion requests continue to be presented to the administration. You can find a list of exclusion decisions here. At this stage of this emerging trade war, there is no indication that the administration is willing, or even considering, reversing the 232 orders. Instead, the focus has shifted to Trump’s 301 Trade Orders aimed at China. At this time, the President is considering a 25% tariff, which he raised from 10%, on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. There is also a proposal for a tariff on $500 billion worth of Chinese imports. It is not clear yet if that proposal will be at 10% or 25%. Regardless, the point of the measure is clear. Trump is hitting China hard in an effort to force the Chinese to be fair trading partners. However, it is not clear exactly where and in which industries he seeks their reform. The AEC has been engaged on this issue and will continue to track its ebb and flow. The AEC has reviewed the list of imported products being suggested by the administration. We have made requests to have specific downstream items added to the list. Lastly, the industry awaits the administration’s decision on how it will handle RUSAL when it makes its determination on the Russian Sanctions. Most industry experts I talked with believe RUSAL will be excluded and allowed to re-enter the U.S. market. For some extruders this will be much-needed good news.
Fair Trade and the Trump agenda will be key issues for discussion during the Management Conference, scheduled for September 11-13 in Chicago. We will be covering all the bases from the General Sessions to the Breakout Sessions. I very much encourage AEC members to attend! See you there!