Jan. 3, 2018
 
Aluminum Leaders Testify Before ITC

Aluminum industry leaders testified last month before the U.S. International Trade Commission in support of a determination that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China injure or threaten to injure U.S. producers.

According to the Aluminum Association, representatives from Aleris, Arconic, Constellium, Jupiter Aluminum, JW Aluminum and Novelis testified that a surge in low-priced, unfairly traded imports of common alloy sheet from China injured their companies.

“Today was an important next step in the ongoing unfair trade investigations on common alloy aluminum sheet from China that were recently self-initiated by the Commerce Department,” says Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Our industry representatives provided comprehensive and compelling evidence to the U.S. International Trade Commission that unfairly traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China are injuring U.S. producers. We look forward to the next steps in this process.”

The surge in imports of common alloy sheet from China was one issue highlighted by the panelists. The volume of imports has increased by nearly 750 percent over the last decade and by more than 91 percent between 2014 and 2017, the period on which the ITC’s investigation will focus.

Panelists also addressed the comprehensive and substantial margins by which imports of common alloy sheet from China are underselling U.S. producers. This, they say, has resulted in significant market share gains by Chinese imports at the direct expense of the U.S. industry.

Additionally, testimony was provided on the negative effects of low-priced Chinese imports on the domestic industry’s operations, including reductions in capacity, production, domestic shipment volume and value, net sales value, operating and net income, and the industry’s operating and net income-to-sales ratios.

In November, the Department of Commerce self-initiated antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from the People’s Republic of China. The goal of the investigations is to determine whether these imports are being sold in the U.S. at unfairly low prices and whether Chinese producers receive actionable subsidies from the Chinese government on these products.

These investigations are the first time in more than 25 years that the Commerce Department self-initiated antidumping and countervailing duty actions.

The common alloy aluminum sheet subject to the unfair trade investigations is a flat-rolled aluminum product with a thickness of 6.3 millimeter or less, but greater than 0.2 millimeter, in coils or cut-to-length, regardless of width and is manufactured from a 1000-, 3000- or 5000-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 investigations is aluminum can stock that is suitable for use in the manufacture of aluminum beverage cans, lids or tabs.

The ITC is tentatively scheduled to vote Jan. 12 on whether there is a reasonable indication that domestic producers of common alloy sheet are materially injured or threatened with material injury. If the ITC reaches an affirmative preliminary determination, the Commerce Department will proceed with antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.

The Commerce Department is currently scheduled to complete its preliminary countervailing duty determination Feb. 1, and is currently scheduled to complete its preliminary antidumping determination April 17.

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.


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Wednesday, January 17, 2018