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Fair Trade: February 2012 Update

Fair Trade - February 2012

AEC-led Coalition Racing Against the Clock in GPX Case

As reported in the January 2012 of essentiAls, your Aluminum Extruders Council was leading a coalition of industries in a critically important effort to fix the potentially disastrous effects of the GPX decision. If left unopposed this appeals court decision could have eliminated the hard-won tariff against Chinese extrusions coming into the U.S. Fortunately for the U.S. extrusion industry, the AEC, and many of our allies, sprang into action to oppose this decision. Those efforts are paying off. Already the effective date of the GPX decision has been pushed back one month, to March 5. This gives Congress the added time it needs to pass legislation that will fix the problem.

The legislative strategy, to a great extent developed and led by AEC and its legal team at King & Spalding, is to have the legislative fix begin in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, whose Chairman is Michigan Congressman Dave Camp. Camp's office released a supportive statement that helped achieve the necessary extension of time. Assuming legislation soon comes out of the House, it will then go to the U.S. Senate for ratification. There, support from leaders such as Senators Portman and Brown of Ohio, who released their own public statement last week will be critical. AEC will continue to fight for the industry and keep you involved and informed.

"Aluminum extruders must defend fair trade," said AEC President Rand Baldwin, "American manufacturers are joining forces to preserve markets and jobs. Removing CVD remedies could devastate U.S. manufacturing, and invite predatory and market-distorting actions from China and others. The ITC ruling against dumping of cheap Chinese extrusion imports must be upheld and enforced. AEC aluminum extruder members deserve to compete in a Fair Trade arena. The American aluminum extrusion industry's survival is at stake. We intend to fight for our future, and drive the resurgence of American manufacturing."

State of the Union Address Included China Fair Trade Comments
In the 2012 State of the Union Speech, President Obama's comments on Fair Trade reflected his intention to strengthen the Fair Trade environment with regard to China: "...I will not stand by when our competitors don't play by the rules. We've brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate of the last administration, and it's made a difference...but we need to do more... It's not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they're heavily subsidized...if the playing field is level, I promise you: America will always win." The President then announced the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit to investigate unfair trading practices in countries like China. He pledged that there will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from entering the U.S.

The AEC-led national Coalition of manufacturers and their industry associations recently sent a letter to President Obama, requesting his help to stop unscrupulous importers and exporters who are evading Antidumping and/or Countervailing Duty Orders. The Coalition asked the President and his Administration to help combat these duty evasion practices by directing the U.S. Department of Commerce to immediately change the current Commerce policy of not making country of origin determinations as part of the periodic administrative reviews of these Orders. The Coalition cites the Commerce Department as the agency responsible for U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty law, and as such, must be responsible for ensuring that its own Orders are effectively enforced.

Download a .pdf version of this update here