Association News

CBFC Asks for Red Metals Inclusion in Section 301 Case

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Red metals have been missing from recent trade discussions. But the Copper and Brass Fabricators Council has pushed to change that, requesting that certain copper and copper alloy semi-fabricated mill products are included in the Section 301 case.

The case involves China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation.

CBFC is requesting the imposition of tariffs in the amount of 25 percent. The products include specific forms of bars, rods, and profiles, plates, sheets and strip, and tube and pipe products.

Production and consumption of all copper and copper alloy semi-fabricated products in the U.S. have been on a steady decline since at least the turn of the millennium. For example, in 2000, slightly over 4 billion pounds of copper and copper alloys were used to produce a variety of semi-fabricated products. By 2016, this market had dropped by half to just over 2 billion pounds. During the same general period, imports of semi-fabricated products dropped by a lesser degree, increasing import penetration of the U.S. market from a low of 18 percent in 2002 to 25 percent in 2014.

“Despite credible attempts to file new trade remedy cases, U.S. copper and brass fabricators have experienced numerous instances when, just as certain products in a certain category begin to surge – often enough to cause injury to domestic producers in a short period of time – imports taper off to prevent application of remedy,” said CBFC President and General Counsel David Hartquist. “Though it is clear that the industry is in a less viable state as a result of imports in general, no existing trade remedy appears capable of addressing harm that occurs over decades, and that slowly and silently puts U.S. producers out of business without any apparent recourse.”

CBFC member mills account for fabrication of more than 80 percent of all copper-based, semi-fabricated products produced in the U.S., including sheet, strip, plate and foil, bar and rod, plumbing, commercial, and OEM tube, forgings, shapes and profiles.