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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 establish a base to export into the U.S. market, they position themselves the circumvent U.S. trade orders or simply expand their predatory pricing to another nation.  We do have options, and the best available course of action will be undertaken.

This formula has been seen in several Southeast Asian countries.  Chinese operations have sprung up in several countries.  We will continue to monitor this activity.  As always, your feedback from the field is very helpful in helping us get to the story behind the data.  So, keep those reports coming.

One thing we have learned, and its something we discussed at our conference, the Chinese will hit us the hardest when the global economy weakens.  Furthermore, they know one way to circumvent our orders is to start exporting more value-added aluminum extrusions and sub-assemblies with extrusions.  This is where the breadth of our scope language will help protect us.  So, we should expect another round of scope challenges as this occurs in order to protect our value-added business.  Whether the threat comes from straight transshipment, third country Chinese-backed extruders, or attempts to move downstream, we must hang together and get prepared for another critical fight!

Elsewhere in our case, we are preparing our response to the Reflections curtain wall scope challenge.  This is a key application for extruders, and one we must fight hard.  I will keep you posted on our progress.  I have a feeling this could be a long fight.

Our Administrative Review is underway.  Currently, we are preparing our comments and preferences concerning which Chinese companies will be reviewed by the Department of Commerce.  This is a key step in the process.  We will make that filing later this month.  It is our ambition to maintain or increase our existing duty rates of 86% for the Anti-Dumping Case and 20% for the Countervailing Duty Case.  These levels have been very effective in keep Chinese imports below 1%.

Coming out of conference last month it is important for all AEC member companies to understand the fight that we face in the coming years.  Our orders are up for review in two years.  That means in about 18 months we will be collecting data and absorbing legal bills that will run two times our normal budget.  So, we must keep our membership in tact so we can prevail in our Sunset Review and be fully prepared to address these new tactics from a very hungry Chinese aluminum extrusion industry!


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