Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its preliminary determinations that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from 18 countries are being sold at less than fair value (or “dumped”) in the United States. As a result, the agency will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to require U.S. importers of common alloy aluminum sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey to deposit estimated antidumping duties at the time of importation.
“Today’s decisions underscore the Commerce Department’s commitment to combatting unfair trade,” said Tom Dobbins, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “The Commerce Department’s findings confirm that foreign producers relied on artificially low prices to rapidly increase their aluminum sheet exports to the United States, just as unfairly traded imports from China were beginning to withdraw from the market.”
In December 2018, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) reached a unanimous determination that U.S. producers were materially injured by unfairly-traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China, leading to duties on such imports. These unfair trade orders prompted Chinese producers to shift exports of common alloy sheet to other foreign markets, prompting producers in those countries to export their own production to the United States.
Based on the Commerce Department’s determinations to date, imports from the subject countries will be subject to the following preliminary duty deposit rates (including both preliminary countervailing and antidumping duties):
Bahrain - 13.70 percent
Brazil - 49.48 to 136.95 percent
Croatia - 3.22 percent
Egypt - 10.42 percent
Germany - 51.18 to 352.71 percent
Greece - 2.72 percent
India - 5.44 to 79.43 percent
Indonesia - 32.12 percent
Italy - 0.00 to 29.13 percent
Korea - 5.04 percent
Oman - 3.53 percent
Romania - 12.51 to 83.94 percent
Serbia - 11.24 percent to 25.84 percent
Slovenia - 4.80 percent
South Africa - 8.93 percent
Spain - 3.75 percent to 23.32 percent
Taiwan - 18.02 percent
Turkey - 12.90 to 15.45 percent
The Commerce Department’s determination follows the agency’s announcement of its preliminary determinations on August 7, 2020, in which it reached affirmative determinations that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, India, and Turkey are subsidized by the relevant governments. Similarly, the Commerce Department reached preliminary affirmative antidumping determinations with respect to imports from all 18 countries subject to the case.
There will be an opportunity for parties to submit case and rebuttal briefs to the Commerce Department and to participate in a hearing addressing the preliminary determinations. Following these events, the Commerce Department will issue its final antidumping and countervailing determinations. The Commerce Department is expected to issue its final determinations for the on-going investigations in mid-February 2021. If the Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission reach affirmative final determinations that are consistent with their preliminary determinations, imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from all 18 countries covered by the investigation will be subject to the price disciplining effects of unfair trade orders – including retroactive annual administrative reviews that can result in revisions in the levels of duties applied for the respective year. In addition, these reviews can result in revisions to the duty deposit rates applicable to future imports – for at least the next five years.
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. 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.
The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group is represented in these actions by John M. Herrmann, Paul C. Rosenthal, Kathleen W. Cannon, R. Alan Luberda, David C. Smith, Grace W. Kim, Elizabeth C. Johnson, Melissa M. Brewer, and Joshua R. Morey of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.
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, representing companies that make 70 percent of the aluminum and aluminum products shipped in North America. The association develops global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise for 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 supports $174 billion in economic activity and nearly 700,000 jobs. For more information visit https://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.