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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 Administrate Review.  Since very few Chinese extruders have come forward for a special rate, we are confident that our current Anti-Dumping (AD) at 86% and Countervailing-Duties (CVD) at 20% rates will remain unchanged.  The better news is that our cost to litigate this process was lower than expected, making funds available for other trade concerns.

We can happily report that we were victorious in the appeal in the 5050 case.  This is great news for our industry.  Also concerning exclusion requests, we’ve been notified that Yulanda has asked for an exclusion from the 301 Orders.  This is not an environment, the 301 Section orders against China, in which we have been embroiled.  However, we decided to step in on this issue and make it clear to the administration that these requests should be denied.  Another scope issue at work concerns solar mounting systems.  This is a key decision for our industry, and for the interpretation of our orders around the language ‘final and finished merchandise’.  We have mixed results in this product area in the past, but there have been new court decisions with language in them that help our case.  We are hopeful that this new language will help buoy our position thus making these products covered merchandise.

Circumvention issues are being addressed by the AEC at this time.  These are obviously sensitive issues that don’t allow me to openly discussion our targets or strategies.  However, I can say there are many as five of these issues being addressed.  Some have already been filed, others are being investigated.  If you want to discuss circumvention with me, I am happy to take the call.  We will be alerting you to our actions and results as soon as we can.

In summary, it is clear that we are in a new world when it comes to trade issues.  Having defeated the threat from China, we are now seeing imports from countries that never sought a position in the U.S. market.  However, a slowing global economy, and displacement from Chinese overproduction felt in countries around the world, has made us vulnerable.  We won with China, and we will win again.  Your continued support is vital to that effort.  If we stay together, we can prevail.

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