|Fair Trade: July 2010 Update|
China Import Update — July 7, 2010A coalition of U.S. extruders, known as the U.S. Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee, has been formed for the purposes of evaluating and, as necessary, defending the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry from being manipulated by alleged unfair trade practices from importers. This Committee is not part of the Aluminum Extruders Council, but we do support its work and its goals.
Below you will find updates regarding the petition the U.S. Aluminum Extrusion Fair Trade Committee filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) for redress from alleged unfair trade practices involving aluminum extrusions imported from China.
Update as of July 7, 2010
Investigation of the petition of the U.S. Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee is continuing as of early July 2010. Strictly speaking, there are two investigations underway: antidumping duty (selling imported product below normal operating cost) and countervailing duty (unfair advantage due to government subsidies to Chinese extruders by their government). The Committee hopes to obtain orders as a result of both investigations, which would result in the imposition of both antidumping duties and countervailing duties. Investigating bodies within the U.S government are the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
As reported in May, the U.S. ITC has already issued their preliminary determination, which ruled unanimously in favor of the allegations by the U.S. Fair Trade Committee. This is only a preliminary determination, and it will be finalized when the ITC continues its investigation after the DOC has had time to complete its portion of the investigation and issue its preliminary determinations.
The active investigative work is currently being done by the U.S. Department of Commerce. "Commerce" has responsibility to return its preliminary determination in the countervailing duty investigation by the end of August 2010. As for antidumping, Commerce will return a preliminary determination, including, if appropriate, a calculated dumping margin perhaps as early as September 7. However, it is possible — perhaps likely — that the time for a dumping finding will be extended into late October. Rates determined by Commerce in the preliminary determinations remain in effect until their final determination, which is likely to be concluded in spring 2011.
There are a number of other frequently asked questions, to which the Committee hopes to provide guidance. A few examples are below.
As a customer buying extrusions from China, how will this investigation impact my current supply? Imports from China would be subject to antidumping and countervailing duties as of the date of the preliminary determinations. U.S. Customs has a responsibility, by law, to collect on each entry if duty orders are imposed.
Should customers with open purchase orders for product produced in China be affected by these determinations? Merchandise entering the U.S. after the preliminary determination dates (late August for the countervailing duty and either early September or, more likely, late October for the antidumping duty) will be subject to duties. It's important to note that the controlling date is not the date of the purchase order, but the actual date of entry into the U.S., as determined by U.S. Customs.
What other U.S. industries have sought relief via this same route? Numerous U.S. industries have obtained relief from dumped and subsidized imports in the past. There are approximately 90 U.S. antidumping orders in place against imports from China. The domestic industries that have asserted their rights under these laws and prevailed include agriculture (garlic, mushrooms), consumer products (cooking ware, paintbrushes, furniture, televisions, hand tools), metals (carbon steel, stainless steel, magnesium), intermediate products (replacement glass, steel pipe), and chemicals (barium chloride, electrolytic manganese dioxide). For a complete listing of current orders against imports from China, go to http://info.usitc.gov/oinv/sunset.nsf/Web/Origin%20Country?OpenView&Start=1&Count=30&Expand=12#12
Have any other countries sought relief from alleged unfair trade practices of the Chinese aluminum extrusion industry? Prior to the U.S. petition, two countries, Canada and Australia, initiated antidumping and subsidy investigations against aluminum extrusions from China. These are the only unfair trade investigations of aluminum extrusions from China of which we are aware. Canada reached an affirmative in March 2009. Australia reached a preliminary, affirmative determination in February 2010, and it final decision is expected shortly.