Representatives from the aluminum industry have been busy working together to garner continued government support for the 2011 anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders covering aluminum extrusion from China.
The original initiative, led by U.S. aluminum extrusion manufacturers, with support from the Aluminum Extruders Council, petitioned the U.S. government for relief from unfairly traded aluminum extrusions from China that were flooding the market and threatening the continued viability of the U.S. industry. Our government determined that the massive surge of unfairly dumped and subsidized extrusions from China were, in fact, undercutting U.S. prices and causing material injury to the U.S. industry. As a result, anti-dumping and countervailing duties were imposed in April of 2011 to remedy the unfair trade taking place.
In early March of this year, the U.S. International Trade commission voted unanimously to renew the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders against China for another five years. The continuation of the orders will allow the domestic aluminum extrusion industry to continue its recovery from the devastating effects of the surge of unfairly traded Chinese extrusions during the Great Recession.
The Commission recognized that while the orders have been effective in keeping Chinese extrusions from continuing to injure the U.S. industry, the industry is still vulnerable to renewed material injury due to the massive amount of excess Chinese aluminum capacity that continues to displace production in other markets and target the U.S. market.
The affirmative vote in the Five-Year (Sunset) Review is a major victory for the American aluminum extrusion industry. Since the original orders have been in place, the industry has been able to increase production from 848,569 [tons] in 2009, to more than 1.3 million [tons] in 2015. Over that same period, in a fairly traded market, the industry has hired nearly an additional 5,500 new production workers to keep pace with the increase in production and shipments.
President Trump’s Initiative
Not long after the Sunset Review’s continuance of the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders, President Trump announced plans to initiate a Section 232 investigation regarding aluminum. Section 232 is a provision of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and it allows the President to “adjust imports,” if the President determines that those imports threaten the national security of the United States. This provision of the U.S. statute has not been used since the 1980's.
In enacting the executive order to being a 232 investigation into whether aluminum imports threaten the national security of the United States, the President recognized that aluminum is a critical element of our manufacturing and defense industrial base. The Commerce Department will conduct the investigation and will issue its findings to the President.
Following the Commerce Department’s recommendation, the President will then have wide discretion to fashion relief for the U.S. aluminum industry to ensure that this vital industry to our national defense remains viable and can continue to assist in the defense of our country against those who would do us harm. He is also exploring continued action at the World Trade Organization to address China’s unfair subsidy behavior and address the root cause of the problem.
The Aluminum Extruders Council also supports continuation of the aluminum extrusion industry’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders, and the Section 232 investigation. For information on the council’s efforts visit: www.aluminumextruderscouncil.blogspot.com.
The recent national news covering the Sunset Review and President Trump’s Section 232 initiative is fair warning for OEMs to be sure they know where they are sourcing their extrusions, especially if they are coming from China. Chinese aluminum extruders continue to evade U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duties by transshipping extrusions through Malaysia and other countries.
Do you know where your extrusions are coming from? Importers have a duty of care to do their due diligence to understand the country of origin of the extrusions you are purchasing, whether you are buying direct from an aluminum extruder, or using a broker to organize the transaction. The Department of Commerce continues to assess significant fines to those who violate the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders by importing extrusions from China, regardless if the purchase is intentional or not.
If you are importing aluminum extruded product, educate yourself on what is included and excluded in the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders, and also seek legal advice to be sure you are complying with all regulations.
In the meantime, contact your Alexandria Industries’ sales person if you have questions.
The White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/27/presidential-memorandum-secretary-commerce
The Aluminum Extruders Council: http://www.aec.org/?page=AECApplauds232Invest
The Aluminum Association: http://www.aluminum.org/getting-trade-right