Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its preliminary determinations that imports of aluminum foil from four 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 certain aluminum foil from Armenia, Brazil, Oman, and Russia to deposit estimated antidumping duties at the time of importation.
“We are grateful for today’s decisions by the Commerce Department demonstrating Secretary Raimondo’s and the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing unfair trade,” said Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with foreign producers pouring imports into the U.S. to capture market share previously held by Chinese producers in connection with successful unfair trade actions. Today’s findings confirm that producers in Armenia, Brazil, Oman, and Russia relied on artificially low prices to increase rapidly aluminum foil exports to the United States, as unfairly traded imports from China withdrew from the market in connection with prior trade enforcement actions. While we are disappointed in the Commerce Department’s preliminary finding on Turkey, we remain hopeful that the agency will reach an affirmative final determination later this year.”
In March 2018, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) reached a unanimous determination that U.S. producers were materially injured by unfairly-traded imports of aluminum foil from China, leading to duties on such imports. The unfair trade orders addressing U.S. imports of aluminum foil from China prompted Chinese producers to shift exports of aluminum foil to other markets, which in turn spurred producers in those countries in turn to increase substantially exports of their own production to the United States.
Based on information gathered to date, the Commerce Department calculated preliminary antidumping margins as follows for the five countries subject to investigation:
The Commerce Department’s determination follows the agency’s announcement of its preliminary subsidy determinations on March 1, 2021, in which the agency determined that U.S. imports of aluminum foil from Oman and Turkey benefit from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the Governments of the Sultanate of Oman and Republic of Turkey.
There will be an opportunity for parties to submit briefs to the Commerce Department and to participate in hearings 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 September 2021. If the Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission reach affirmative final determinations that are consistent with their preliminary determinations, imports of certain aluminum foil from Armenia, Brazil, Oman, Russia, and Turkey will be subject to increased duties – and the prospect of annual administrative reviews that will determine the specific level of duties applicable to future imports – for at least the next five years.
The certain aluminum foil subject to the Commerce Department’s investigation includes flat-rolled aluminum products that are 0.2 mm or less in thickness (less than 0.0079 inches) in reels weighing more than 25 pounds and that is not backed. The determination does not cover etched capacitor foil or foil that has been cut to shape. Certain aluminum foil is used extensively in food and pharmaceutical packaging, household foil, thermal insulation, cables, electronics, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (“HVAC”) applications and other heat transfer products where properties such as light weight, resistance to corrosion, and formability are desired.
The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group is represented in these actions by John M. Herrmann, Paul C. Rosenthal, R. Alan Luberda, David C. Smith, 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 $172 billion in economic activity and nearly 660,000 jobs. For more information visit https://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.