Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its preliminary determinations that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, India, and Turkey are benefitting from unfair government subsidies. As a result, the agency will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to require U.S. importers of certain common alloy aluminum sheet from these four countries to deposit estimated countervailing duties at the time of importation.
“The Aluminum Association and its members are pleased with the Commerce Department’s preliminary findings which will help level the playing field for U.S. sheet producers,” said Tom Dobbins, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association “We are grateful for the efforts by Commerce Department officials to continue to enforce U.S. unfair trade laws especially in these challenging times. U.S. producers of common alloy aluminum sheet are among the most competitive producers in the world, but they should not have to compete against products that are unfairly subsidized by foreign governments.”
The Commerce Department’s determination follows the agency’s initiation, on March 30, 2020, of antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from 18 countries, with countervailing duty investigations on imports from Bahrain, Brazil, India, and Turkey.
Based on information gathered to date, the Commerce Department calculated preliminary subsidy margins, as follows:
Bahrain: 9.49 percent
Brazil: 0.76 percent to 1.32 percent
India: 4.55 percent to 34.84 percent
Turkey: 0.07 percent to 3.15 percent
The next step in this trade action will be the Commerce Department’s issuance of its preliminary antidumping determinations, which are scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. If affirmative preliminary antidumping determinations are issued by the Commerce Department, U.S. importers will be required to post cash deposits or bonds on all entries of common alloy aluminum sheet from the 18 countries subject to investigation in the amount of the preliminary dumping margins, and will also be required to deposit estimated duties on imports covered by the Commerce Department’s preliminary subsidy determinations announced today.
The common alloy aluminum sheet subject to the Commerce Department’s investigation is a flat-rolled aluminum product having a thickness of 6.3 mm or less, but greater than 0.2 mm, in coils or cut-to-length, regardless of width, and is manufactured from a 1XXX-, 3XXX-, or 5XXX-series alloy. The aluminum sheet subject to investigation includes both unclad aluminum sheet, as well as multi-alloy, clad aluminum sheet. Common uses for the product under investigation include gutters and downspouts, building facades, street signs and license plates, electrical boxes, kitchen appliances and tractor-trailers for trucks. Excluded from the scope of the investigation is aluminum can stock that is suitable for use in the manufacture of aluminum beverage cans, lids, or tabs.
The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group is represented in these actions by John M. Herrmann, Paul C. Rosenthal, Kathleen W. Cannon, and Brooke M. Ringel of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.