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Transshipment and Scope Issues Dominate the Fair-Trade Agenda in Our China Case

With the renewal of our trade orders against China a year away, our recent focus in the China case has been on pending scope exclusion requests and reports of transshipment activity. I will briefly discuss those items with you this month.

Reflection Window resubmitted its initial scope request on January 9, 2020, in response to the DOC’s supplemental questionnaire of September 23, 2019. Its original request fell under the “finished goods kits” exclusion, and it has resubmitted under that exclusion but indicated that it also intends to submit an exclusion request under the finished merchandise exclusion. We have submitted an extension request for the final determination (currently scheduled for February 24, 2020). This is critical case for our industry. Having won decisively in the curtain wall cases in recent years, now the Chinese are attempting to imitate curtain wall with this hybrid product. We will be watching this case carefully.

The AEC is also watching the changes in tariffs b…
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New Year, New Threats

Welcome to 2020!  A New Year and fresh decade are upon us, and with it comes new threats to AEC’s ambition to provide for a fair and free trade environment.  Members across the AEC have entered this year with an array issues on the trade front that are impacting their businesses.  It is the mission and role of the AEC to look for legal remedies to address these threats.  Some will have obvious solutions, while others may be more complicated.  If you are one of these members that are seeing new threats, please let me know.  Furthermore, AEC members, make it a point to come to this year’s 71st Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference,  March 12 – 14, 2020, in San Antonio.  We have put time on the schedule to host a Town Hall.  I want to hear from you, and I want you to hear from others, what these risks are, and have our legal team discuss possible strategies.  This is a must attend meeting!

Our case against China is going well.  We are in the final stages of the 8th Annual Administra…

Fair Trade Update: 232 Tariff Impacts Alarming Members, Foreign Imports Rising

Most of the activity this month related to fair and free trade was external to our ongoing trade cases against China.  Reports of increasing threats to the North American market from other countries continue to grow, and there is clear uncertainty about the impacts of the 232 tariff exemptions for Canada and Mexico on the U.S. industry.  I’ll come back to that in a minute, but first, let me catch you up on issues that did involve our China case.
The 8th Annual Administrative Review is now underway.  Having virtually no opposition from the Chinese industry in either our Anti-Dumping (AD) or Countervailing Duty (CVD) cases, we have withdrawn most of our efforts.  Instead, we will be focus on individual Chinese exporters whose duties we think we can cause to be increased.  This is an efficient use of our resources and similar to the strategy we’ve deployed in recent administrative reviews.  As a result, we expect the base rates to stay the same, which are approximately 86% for the AD case…

The AEC’s Multi-Front Trade War

Since 2011, the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry has benefited from some of the most effective trade orders ever issued by the U.S. government.  During that time, Chinese imports as a percentage of market share has dropped from 25% to less than 1%.  So, manning the desk at the AEC that handles trade orders should be a pretty quiet job, right?  Well, not in the last 30 days!

The impacts of China’s unrelenting overproduction and continuing investment in new capacity is effecting markets all over the world, and in some of those cases, this translates into new imports from these countries into North America.  China’s actions are displacing local production in other countries, which in turn are forced to find new markets for their extrusion production.  In other cases, China has invested in new extrusion plants in these countries as a part of their ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative.  However, this month we were witness to China’s favorite play: circumvention.

As we reported, the Department of…

The Rising Threat of Aluminum Extrusion Imports

I want to thank everyone who attended our breakout session about the rising threat from imported aluminum extrusions.  In that session we examined the data in this matter.  There has been clear growth in imports from a variety of countries. In recent years we’ve seen higher market penetration from Vietnam and Malaysia, but now, we see the threat from the Caribbean and other Southeast Asian countries.  As discussed in the meeting, the AEC’s law firm in our China case, Wiley Rein, is collecting data from AEC members in order to track these imports and the impacts on our businesses and industry.  If you’d like to participate in this data collection, please contact me for details.
While I can’t comment in this forum on about our next steps, let me assure you that we are acting.Imports from the Dominican Republic are particularly worrisome.The Chinese owned and operated facility in that country appear to signal a new tactic by the Chinese industry.By investing in third party countries to …

Terrific News for the AEC

This month we received two terrific decisions out of Washington D.C.  The first was the report by the Wall Street Journal that Liu Zhongtian, founder of China ZhongWang, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he evaded nearly $2 billion in tariffs as part of a conspiracy to smuggle massive quantities of aluminum into the U.S.  The second was the final decision being made in our circumvention case against Vietnam.
First, Mr. Liu.  The AEC has been in a state of conflict with ZhongWang (ZW) since before we won our case.  ZhongWang and its affiliates were the number one exporter of aluminum extrusions into the U.S. prior to our filing.  Reports indicate that anywhere from 65-85% of all extrusions dumped into the U.S. from 2008-2010 were from ZW or its business affiliates.  Many of us will remember Peng Cheng, as one example.  Then the AEC exposed the perplexing mountain of extrusions produced in China and shipped to the Mexican desert, which led to the attempt to open…

Fair Trade Update

This month we will cover the latest developments in open matters within our case.Appeals and scope requests dominated our attention.
Three appeals were filed this month.The first is the Perfectus/Pallet case.Perfectus has appealed their loss at the Court of International Trade (CIT).We will work with the government in this matter to secure victory at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.In the Tai-Ao 5050 case, the CIT sided with the Department of Commerce (DOC) in their decision that 5050 alloys are covered by our orders.Now Tai-Ao has appealed this decision to the CAFC.We will work with the government on this case as well.Finally, the CIT is asking the CAFC to reject Jangho’s case.In light of the losses suffered by Yulanda in their scope cases, the CIT is asking the CAFC not to waste its time on this pointless appeal.I will keep you posted on these important cases.
We’ve also had some new scope challenges this month.Scaffsales, who sells scaffolding, stadium s…