U.S. Aluminum Industry Files Unfair Trade Cases Against Imports of Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from 18 Countries | The Aluminum Association

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U.S. Aluminum Industry Files Unfair Trade Cases Against Imports of Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from 18 Countries

March 9, 2020

The Aluminum Association’s Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet Trade Enforcement Working Group today filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions charging that unfairly traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from 18 countries are causing material injury to the domestic industry. These cases were filed just 13 months after the U.S. Department of Commerce published antidumping and countervailing duty orders on common alloy sheet from China. 

Existing duty orders in the U.S. have prompted Chinese producers to shift exports of common alloy sheet to other foreign markets. This has resulted in producers in those countries exporting their own production to the United States, the only market in the world where market conditions are not distorted by large volumes of low-priced imports from China.

“This action reflects both the intensive injury being suffered by U.S. aluminum sheet producers and also the industry’s unwavering commitment to ensure that the U.S. unfair trade laws are enforced to create a level playing field,” said Lauren Wilk, vice president for policy and international trade at the Aluminum Association. “Unfortunately, ongoing aluminum overcapacity in China continues to distort global markets. This expanded AD/CVD action is a symptom of a much larger problem.”

The domestic industry’s antidumping petitions allege that common alloy aluminum sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey was dumped in the United States at margins ranging from 15.90 percent to 151.00 percent of the value of the imported common alloy aluminum sheet. Domestic producers also filed countervailing duty petitions alleging that producers in Bahrain, Brazil, India, and Turkey benefit from numerous government subsidy programs. 

“The Aluminum Association and its members have long relied on strong international supply chains and we did not take this step lightly,” added Wilk. “But we simply cannot continue in an environment where unfairly traded imports are impacting our members’ ability to operate.”

The petitions were filed concurrently with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). Common alloy aluminum sheet is a flat rolled aluminum product that is used in a variety of applications, including as gutters and downspouts, building facades, street signs and license plates, electrical boxes, pontoon boats and tractor trailers for trucks.  

The domestic industry filed its petitions for relief in response to large and rapidly increasing volumes of low-priced imports from the subject countries that have injured U.S. producers. Between 2017 and 2019, imports from the subject countries increased by 114 percent to nearly 750 million pounds. While domestic producers expected to benefit from the publication in early February 2019 of antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of common alloy sheet from China – and have pursued substantial capital investments to increase their capacity to supply this product to the U.S. market -- aggressively low-priced imports from the subject countries captured all of the market share previously held by imports from China. Indeed, between 2017 and 2019, imports from the 18 subject countries increased by more than the decline in the volume of Chinese imports that left the U.S. market (748.3 million pounds vs. 657.6 million pounds).

“Surging imports of unfairly low-priced common alloy aluminum sheet from the subject countries have devastated pricing in the U.S. market and resulted in further injury to U.S. producers following the imposition of measures to address unfairly-traded imports from China in early 2019,” added John M. Herrmann, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the petitioners’ trade counsel.  “The domestic industry looks forward to the opportunity to present its case to the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to obtain relief from unfairly traded imports and to restore fair competition in the U.S. market.”

The common alloy aluminum sheet subject to the unfair trade investigations 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. Excluded from the scope of the investigations is aluminum can stock that is suitable for use in the manufacture of aluminum beverage cans, lids, or tabs. 

The petitioners are represented in these actions by John M. Herrmann, Paul C. Rosenthal, Kathleen W. Cannon, R. Alan Luberda, David C. Smith, Grace W. Kim and Joshua R. Morey of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP.

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