The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) has led the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry in achieving level competition by winning tariff protection that offsets unfair trade practices of extruders/importers of aluminum profiles produced in China. Our efforts have been of enormous value to domestic extruders and suppliers. Conservatively, an estimated 800 million pounds per year of extrusions are being produced in the U. S. that would have otherwise been lost to China.
This month our Fair Trade focus has shifted back to scope challenges. At the same time, other issues are developing, which I will touch on in this report. However, the key decision this month actually came from an adversary. Whirlpool has dismissed its appeal in the appliance handle case. This is a great development for us, as we have one less opponent in our quest to push the Department of Commerce (DOC) to return the interpretation of our scope back to the original language and its intent. This decision from the courts confirms that the DOC cannot rule an item out of scope simply because it has additional non-extruded components. It also reinforces the principle that a part cannot be ruled out of scope if it is a subassembly of a larger product. These two issues are the legal pillars that will enhance our ability to keep more applications covered by our orders, and possibly seek a reversal from the DOC on items previously ruled out of scope.