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Fair Trade: October 2013 Update

Fair Trade - September/October 2013

Fair Trade Fundraising Passes $1.0 Million Mark
Industry rallies with matching grant program

The 2013 Management Conference provided the backdrop for a special event where AEC members gathered to discuss the Aluminum Extrusion Fair Trade Initiative - the successes, challenges and on-going work to maintain a level playing field for the North American aluminum extrusion industry. Leading up to the event last month, AEC announced a matching contributions program that doubled individual pledges up to $5,000. The campaign was a success, with the Council reaching the $1 Million mark by the end of September. To better understand where the Aluminum Extrusion Fair Trade initiative stands, AEC President Rand Baldwin offers a recap of activities so far this year.

At this year's Annual Meeting (March 2013 in Orlando), the Aluminum Extruders Council announced that we had extended the successful defense of our industry's Fair Trade initiative - tariffs on extruded aluminum profiles imported into the U.S. from China.

This announcement meant the Fair Trade initiative had moved to a new third phase, i.e. long-term defense of the tariffs. Phase 1 (Dec 2009-May 2011) was the phase in which the tariff orders were sought and won. Phase 2 (May 2011-Oct 2012) was the initial defense of these orders against legal challenges, waiver requests and circumvention (see Fair Trade Timeline here).

Originally, AEC had hoped that Phase 2, the short-term defense, would be sufficient to make the playing field level for years to come. However, challenges to the historic tariff orders remained beyond this timeframe, even into the first part of the current year. There is an interesting series of articles describing this activity on AEC's new blog or by clicking on the orange "B" in the upper right corner of the home page at www.aec.org.

Thus, with determination and the knowledge that the cause was right and worthwhile, AEC launched Phase 3 in 2013. The goal of this phase is to continue to maintain fair trade in U.S. markets for at least another four years (through 2016) by meeting the legal and other challenges of those who still want to import subsidized Chinese extrusions.

Also in March, AEC announced a voluntary fundraising component would be added to the three-year assessments that were added to dues two years ago. In Phase 3, the goal was to raise an additional $1.0 to $1.2 million in the first year (2013). As in the past, the industry has rallied behind this important call to action. With a big push culminating at AEC's Management Conference in Chicago last month, the $1.0 million mark was reached. To be exact, the Phase 3 Fair Trade pledge total now stands at $1,009,300.

Cumulatively, since 2009, the industry's price tag for the Fair Trade initiative now stands at just over $5.3 million. This is a typical experience for industries, such as ours, who have made the decision to enforce fair trade principles for the good of all businesses, customers and employees of the industry. The Canadian extrusion market has a similar experience. Thank you to all who continue to defend Fair Trade in North America.

Has the intense effort and significant investment been worth it? For more on that click here and here. In short, the answer is "yes". The Fair Trade initiative has saved the domestic extrusion industry. And the fight to maintain these gains will continue.

Fair Trade Resources Available
Details about the Fair Trade initiative are available at www.aecfairtrade.org. Campaign updates, FAQs, the recent Fair Trade...It Matters! Webinar, and more are available on the site. Coming soon, members can download the "Fair Trade...It Matters!" website banner for their own use. Visit the Resources page at www.aecfairtrade.org for details.

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