Commerce Department Launches Case on Chinese Common Alloy

Self-Initiated AD/CVD Case to Investigate Subsidized Aluminum Sheet

Aluminum Association President & CEO Heidi testifies at a hearing in front of the Department of Commerce in June 2017.

The United States Department of Commerce recently announced a self-initiated antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigation into imports of common alloy sheet from the People's Republic of China. This was the first time in more than 25 years the U.S. government has self-initiated an investigation and reflects an understanding of the acute challenges driven Chinese aluminum overcapacity.

The Commerce Department will investigate a number of subsidy programs provided by the Chinese government to common alloy sheet producers and estimates a dumping margin of between 56.54 and 59.72 percent for imports of common alloy sheet from China.  

The Aluminum Association applauded the Commerce Department’s decision and pledged to support the effort. Common alloy is a key product segment for the U.S. aluminum industry, which ships about 2 billion pounds of common alloy sheet every year out of around 26 billion pounds of total domestic aluminum demand.

Common alloy sheet is a flat-rolled aluminum product that is used in a variety of applications, including transportation, building and construction, infrastructure, electrical and marine applications where its strength, relatively light-weight, formability and resistance to corrosion are required. 

The infographic below shows a few everyday items – like traffic signs and gutters -- that use common alloy sheet.

Overall, the U.S. aluminum industry supports 161,000 direct jobs and more than 700,000 jobs when indirect and induced impacts are considered. Further, the industry creates $75 billion in direct economic impact and $186 billion in total impact, around 1 percent of U.S. GDP. The industry has been operating in a very challenging environment for a number of years largely as a consequence of Chinese overcapacity distorting the marketplace.

The Commerce Department’s action sends a strong signal to China that the U.S. will aggressively enforce its trade laws.

The entire investigative process will take approximately one year to complete, with final determinations of dumping, subsidization and injury likely occurring in late 2018 or early 2019. 

You can read the association's statement here.

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