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USITC issues preliminary injury ruling on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet

The Aluminum Association applauds preliminary decision that finds 18 countries have unfairly traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet.

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The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has made a unanimous preliminary determination that unfairly traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Republic of Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey are causing injury to U.S. producers. The preliminary injury determination means that the antidumping and countervailing duty cases against imports from those countries, which the Commerce Department initiated March 30, will proceed. The Commerce Department’s preliminary countervailing duty determinations are due to be completed June 3, and the preliminary anti-dumping duty determinations are due to be completed Aug. 17, though these deadlines could be extended.

The Aluminum Association, Arlington, Virgina, has applauded the determination, with the organization’s President and CEO Tom Dobbins saying the association and its members are encouraged by the determination. “It is clear that U.S. aluminum firms are being injured by continued unfair imports in this market and today’s decision is a win for rules-based global trade.”

U.S. companies that make common alloy aluminum sheet initially were hurt by a wave of unfair imports from China), the Aluminum Association says. After winning a trade case against China in late 2018, imports from the 18 named countries surged into the United States and inflicted additional injury. Aluminum Association members are participating in the trade cases to return fair pricing to the U.S. market and to ensure that the U.S. industry can use the significant capital investments pursued following the earlier successful unfair trade case against imports from China.

“The USITC’s affirmative preliminary decision is an important step in remedying the devastating injury to domestic producers that has been caused by a surge of unfairly traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from the various subject countries,” says John Herrmann of New York City-based Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, counsel to the domestic industry. 

Imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from these 18 countries increased by more than 113 percent between 2017 and 2019, collectively accounting for nearly 70 percent of all U.S. imports, the association says.

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. According to the Aluminum Association, the U.S. aluminum industry ships about 2 billion pounds of common alloy aluminum sheet each year.

The common alloy aluminum sheet subject to the unfair trade investigations is a flat-rolled aluminum product having a thickness of 6.3 millimeters or less but greater than 0.2 millimeters, 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 unclad aluminum sheet, as well as multialloy, 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.