DOC Imposes Final Combined Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on all Chinese Aluminum Extrusion Imports
April 5, 2011

The “dumping” of Chinese aluminum extrusions has been a concern for many U.S. aluminum extruders for some time now. Last year the U.S. Aluminum Extrusion Fair Trade Committee, a coalition of U.S. extruders, filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) for redress from alleged unfair trade practices involving aluminum extrusions imported from China. Now, the DOC is moving forward with a decision to impose antidumping duties on aluminum imports from China originally announced last year.

According to a NASDAQ report, the Commerce Department said it would “levy duties of between 32.79 percent and 33.28 percent after determining that Chinese firms were selling aluminum extrusions below fair value in the United States.”

A press release issued by King & Spalding LLP, attorneys for the U.S. Aluminum Extrusion Fair Trade Committee, says that as a result of the duties U.S. importers of aluminum extrusions from China will be required to pay combined antidumping and countervailing duty cash deposits of up to 407.43 percent of the value of the imports at the time of entry if antidumping and countervailing duty orders are ultimately imposed. Orders will be imposed if the ITC makes an affirmative determination that the domestic industry has been materially injured by reason of dumped and subsidized imports from China.

Lead counsel Stephen A.  Jones, Esq., a partner with King & Spalding, says the decision confirms that the U.S. industry has been competing against illegally subsidized and unfairly priced Chinese imports.

“If the ITC’s final injury determination is affirmative, the imposition of substantial countervailing and antidumping duties should restore fair competition to the U.S. market and give domestic producers an opportunity to maintain and expand U.S. production and U.S. jobs instead of continuing to lose market share to unfairly traded imports,” says Jones.

Several in the U.S. aluminum industry see the decision as a positive step forward.

“I feel that the proposed duties are long overdue and would only hope that the ITC will support and levy the appropriate duties as the DOC has determined,” says Brent Slaton, national sales coordinator with Keymark Corporation. “The U.S. aluminum producers are only trying to create a fair and equal trade environment that is supportive to an industry that has been damaged by an in-balance of labor and environmental regulations.”

Rich Walker, president and chief executive officer of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, agrees.

“The anti-dumping duties are certainly a step in the right direction to offset the effect of the concessions and subsidies for imports of aluminum extrusions from China, which have helped to encourage these imports at the direct expense of U.S. businesses,” says Walker. “Chinese companies selling their products below fair value to American businesses undercuts U.S. manufacturers, and threatens the jobs and profits in the construction industry at a time when the economy as a whole, but commercial construction in particular, struggles to regain pre-recession levels of normalcy.”

The ITC is scheduled to vote on the case April 28, 2011.

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