ARLINGTON, VA – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its preliminary determination that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China are being sold at less than fair value (or “dumped”) in the United States. As a result, the agency will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to require U.S. importers of common alloy aluminum sheet from China to deposit estimated antidumping duties at the time of import.
“The association and its member companies that produce common alloy aluminum sheet are very pleased with this finding that again underscores the Commerce Department’s commitment to combatting unfair trade,” said Heidi Brock, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “For too long, the Government of China has been unfairly and illegally subsidizing its aluminum industry, leading to massive market overcapacity and challenging producers across the value chain. Today’s action by the Commerce Department is exactly the kind of strong, targeted trade enforcement we need in support of the rules-based global trading system.”
Based on information gathered to date, the Commerce Department calculated preliminary antidumping margins of 91.47 percent of the value of the imported aluminum sheet. In particular, the Commerce Department calculated an antidumping margin of 91.47 percent for Henan Mingtai Al Industrial Co., Ltd. and its affiliates, which the Department selected for mandatory investigation. In addition, the Commerce Department relied on the antidumping margin calculated for Henan Mingtai Al Industrial, Co., Ltd. to establish the antidumping margins for Nanjie Resources Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang GKO Aluminum Stock Co., Ltd., two other companies selected for mandatory investigation, on the basis of adverse facts available. The Commerce Department also calculated an antidumping margin of 91.47 percent for companies that cooperated with the agency’s investigation and requested separate rate status, but were not individually investigated. Finally, the Department preliminarily established an antidumping margin of 91.47 percent for all other Chinese producers and exporters that did not participate in the Department’s investigation.*
The Commerce Department’s determination follows the agency’s announcement of its self-initiation of antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China on November 28, 2017. In April, the Commerce Department announced a preliminary determination that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China are benefiting from unfair subsidies provided by the Government of China. As a result of the preliminary subsidy decision, U.S. importers of common alloy aluminum sheet from China are required to deposit estimated countervailing duties ranging from 31.20 to 113.30 percent of the value of the imported aluminum sheet at the time of importation. The Commerce Department is currently investigating 26 different subsidy programs maintained by the Government of China.
The next step in the trade action will be the Commerce Department’s verification of factual information submitted by the Chinese producers participating in the investigations. There will then be an opportunity for parties to submit case and rebuttal briefs to the Commerce Department and to participate in a hearing. Following these events, the Commerce Department will issue its final antidumping and countervailing determinations. The Commerce Department is expected to issue its final determinations in late October or early November 2018.
Common alloy aluminum 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 essential. Common uses for the product under investigation include gutters and downspouts, building facades, street signs and license plates, electrical boxes, pontoon boats, and tractor trailers for trucks.
Overall, the U.S. aluminum industry supports 162,000 direct jobs and nearly 700,000 jobs when indirect and induced impacts are considered. Further, the industry creates $71 billion in direct economic impact and $174 billion in total impact, around one percent of U.S. GDP. The industry has been operating in a challenging environment for a number of years largely as a consequence of Chinese overcapacity distorting the marketplace.
The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group is represented in these actions by John M. Herrmann, Paul C. Rosenthal, Kathleen W. Cannon, and Grace W. Kim of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.
* On August 8, 2018, the Commerce Department published a notice in the Federal Register correcting an error in its preliminary antidumping calculations. While the Commerce Department announced a preliminary antidumping margin of 167.16 percent on June 18, that margin was subsequently revised to 91.47 percent, consistent with the provisions of the agency’s regulations providing for the correction of errors in its margin calculations. This press release has been updated accordingly.
About the Aluminum Assocation
The Aluminum Association represents aluminum production and jobs in the United States, ranging from primary production to value added products to recycling, as well as suppliers to the industry. The Association is the industry’s leading voice, providing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel-efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics. In the U.S., the aluminum industry creates $174 billion in economic activity. For more information visit http://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.