Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The Trump administration confirms it will definitely impose final anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties ranging from 96.3 percent to 176.2 percent on Chinese common alloy aluminum sheet products.
“We will continue to do everything in our power under U.S. law to restrict the flow of dumped or subsidized goods into U.S. markets,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The final aluminum sheet duties, however, are lower than those first imposed in April and July. The initial combined range was 198.4 percent to 280.46 percent.
In 2017, imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China were valued at $900 million. Flat-rolled aluminum is used in transportation, building and construction, infrastructure, electrical and marine applications.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is scheduled to make its final injury determinations on Dec. 20 after it voted 4-0 in January to authorize the investigation.
U.S. aluminum industry firms testified in December 2017 about what they saw as a surge “in low-priced, unfairly traded imports of common alloy sheet from China.” These firms included Aleris Corp, Arconic Inc, Constellium NV, Jupiter Aluminum Corp, JW Aluminum Company and Novelis Corporation.
These firms said the volume of aluminum sheet product imports jumped by nearly 750 percent over the last decade, and by more than 91 percent between 2014 and 2017. This dumping resulted in “significant market share gains by Chinese imports at the direct expense of the U.S. industry.
Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, said the organization is “extremely pleased” with the decision.
The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association is lodging a no-injury legal defense in a bid to overturn the duties. “We think we are causing no harm to the United States. We are just waiting for the USITC to judge,” said Wen Xianjun, vice president of the association.
China’s aluminum exports fell by 3.6 percent from September to 482,000 tonnes in October, the lowest since May.
The U.S. decision is the first time since 1985 that final duties were issued in a trade remedy case initiated by the U.S. government. The Trump administration has promised a more aggressive approach to trade enforcement by having the Commerce Department launch more anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on behalf of private industry.
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