Aluminum Imports Again Targeted by a New Trade Case
Chinese aluminum exports are again the target of a new U.S. trade action. On November 28, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) self-initiated antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations against imports of alloy aluminum sheet from China. This marks the first time in over two decades that the agency has brought its own case against foreign imports. Typically it is the domestic industry that files AD/CVD actions and Commerce and the International Trade Commission (ITC) administer them. Commerce will be responsible for calculating the ultimate AD/CVD margins on imports of aluminum sheet from China, while the ITC will conduct a concurrent investigation to determine if the imports are injuring the U.S. industry. If Commerce finds dumping or unfair subsidization in its preliminary determinations, currently scheduled for February 2018 (CVD) and April 2018 (AD), importers will be charged the calculated duties upon the products' entry into the U.S. market.
Commerce is alleging over $603 million in annual imports from China, with AD margins as high as 59.72% and CVD margins above de minimis. Additional information about the case can be found on the Commerce website through the links below to a fact sheet and press release.
The product covered by the investigations is "common alloy aluminum sheet, which 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." Aluminum sheet is typically used in building and construction, transportation, basic electrical applications, appliances, etc. A further description of the subject merchandise is available in the Commerce fact sheet referenced above.
Commerce and the ITC follow strict statutory deadlines in these investigations which move very quickly. Some important deadlines are already being set and the time for companies to act is now to be in the best position as the case evolves.
Commerce has not yet released information about the US importers or Chinese mills affected by this case. However, if this product is of interest to you, please let us know so that we can provide you with additional information as it is released.
If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mark Ludwikowski or another member of Clark Hill's International Trade Practice Group.