Aluminum industry testifies at ITC on injury caused by alloy sheet imports from China

Photo: Constellium

December 21, 2017 - Aluminum industry leaders testified Dec. 21 before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in support of a determination that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China injure or threaten to injure U.S. producers.

Representatives from Aleris Corp.; Arconic Inc.; Constellium; Jupiter Aluminum; JW Aluminum Co.; and Novelis Corp. testified concerning the injury caused to their companies as a result of a surge in low-priced, unfairly traded imports of common alloy sheet from China.

“Today was an important next step in the ongoing unfair trade investigations on common alloy aluminum sheet from China that were recently self-initiated by the Commerce Department,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Our industry representatives provided comprehensive and compelling evidence to the U.S. International Trade Commission that unfairly traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China are injuring U.S. producers.  We look forward to the next steps in this process.”

Specifically, panelists from the aluminum industry highlighted:

  • The surge in imports of common alloy sheet from China, with the volume of imports increasing by nearly 750 percent over the last decade, and by more than 91 percent between 2014 and 2017, the period on which the ITC’s investigation will focus.
  • The comprehensive and substantial margins by which imports of common alloy sheet from China is underselling U.S. producers, resulting in significant market share gains by Chinese imports at the direct expense of the U.S. industry.
  • The negative effects of low-priced Chinese imports on the domestic industry’s operations, including reductions in capacity, production, domestic shipment volume and value, net sales value, operating and net income, and the industry’s operating and net income-to-sales ratios.

On Nov. 28, 2017, the Department of Commerce self-initiated antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from the People’s Republic of China. The investigations will determine whether these imports are being sold in the United States at unfairly low prices and also whether Chinese producers receive actionable subsidies from the Government of China on these products.

This was the first time in more than 25 years that the Commerce Department self-initiated AD/CVD actions. In announcing the initiation of the AD/CVD investigations last month, the Commerce Department estimated antidumping margin of between 56.54 to 59.72 percent for these products and indicated that the agency will be investigating 26 separate subsidy programs conducted by the Government of China.

The ITC is tentatively scheduled to vote Jan. 12, 2018, on whether there is a reasonable indication that domestic producers of common alloy sheet are materially injured or threatened with material injury.  In the event the ITC reaches an affirmative preliminary determination, the Commerce Department will proceed with antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. The entire investigative process will take a year to complete, with final determinations of dumping, subsidization and injury likely occurring in late 2018 or early 2019.

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