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Aluminum Association Applauds USITC’s Preliminary Injury Ruling on Imports of Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China

January 12, 2018

ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) made a unanimous preliminary determination today that unfairly-traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from the People’s Republic of China (“China”) are causing injury to U.S. producers.  The preliminary injury determination means that the antidumping and countervailing duty cases against imports from China will proceed.

The USITC’s unanimous preliminary injury determination follows the announcement by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, in November 2017, of the Commerce Department’s self-initiation of antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of common alloy aluminum sheet from China.  This action by the Commerce Department marked the first time in more than 25 years that the agency has exercised its discretion to self-initiate unfair trade cases.

As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determination, the Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its investigations on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China.  The Commerce Department’s preliminary countervailing duty determination is currently due to be completed on February 1, 2018, and the preliminary antidumping duty determination is due to be completed on April 17, 2018.

“The Aluminum Association and its members are encouraged by today’s unanimous preliminary finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China are a cause of injury to the domestic industry and their workers,” said Heidi Brock, President & CEO of the Aluminum Association.  “U.S. companies that make common alloy aluminum sheet have suffered extensive injury thanks to unfairly traded imports from China for many years. Our members are participating in the trade cases initiated by the Department of Commerce to return fair pricing to the U.S. market, and to allow the U.S. industry to make needed investments to further strengthen its competitiveness.”

“The ITC’s affirmative preliminary decision is an important step in remedying the devastating injury that the flood of unfairly-traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China have had on the domestic industry,” commented John Herrmann, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, counsel to the domestic industry.

Imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China increased by more than 90 percent between 2014 and 2017 (annualized).  China is by far the largest supplier of common alloy sheet to the U.S. market in 2016, accounting for more than 36 percent of all U.S. imports.

In announcing the self-initiation of the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations last year, the Commerce Department estimated antidumping margins of 56.54 to 59.72 percent and indicated that the agency will be investigating 26 separate subsidy programs maintained by the Government of China.

Common alloy aluminum sheet is a flat-rolled aluminum product that is used in a variety of applications, including transportation, building and construction, infrastructure, electrical, and marine applications where its strength, relatively light-weight, formability, and resistance to corrosion are essential.  The U.S. aluminum industry ships about 2 billion pounds of common alloy aluminum sheet each year.

Overall, the U.S. aluminum industry supports 161,000 direct jobs and more than 700,000 jobs when indirect and induced impacts are considered. Further, the industry creates $75 billion in direct economic impact and $186 billion in total impact, around one percent of U.S. GDP. The industry has been operating in a very challenging environment for a number of years largely as a consequence of Chinese overcapacity distorting the marketplace.

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. Common uses for the product under investigation include gutters and downspouts, building facades, street signs and license plates, electrical boxes, pontoon boats, 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.

Domestic producers of common alloy aluminum sheet are represented in these actions by John M. Herrmann, Paul C. Rosenthal, Kathleen W. Cannon, and Grace W. Kim of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

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About the Aluminum Association
The Aluminum Association represents aluminum production and jobs in the United States, ranging from primary production to value added products to recycling, as well as suppliers to the industry. The Association is the industry’s leading voice, providing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel-efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics. In the U.S., the aluminum industry creates $186 billion in economic activity. For more information visit http://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.

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