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  November 30th, 2017 | Written by

US Department of Commerce Self-Initiates AD, CVD Investigations

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  • Commerce starts first self-initiated trade investigations in over 25 years.
  • Secretary of Commerce has authority to initiate AD and CVD investigations under the Tariff Act of 1930.
  • AD and CVD investigations are usually initiated in response to petitions filed by a domestic industry.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced yesterday the self-initiation of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China.

The investigations, the first in over 25 years, were self-initiated under the authority granted to the Secretary of Commerce under the Tariff Act of 1930.

“We are self-initiating the first trade case in over a quarter century,” said Ross. “showing once again that we stand in constant vigilance in support of free, fair, and reciprocal trade.”

In 2016, imports of common alloy sheet from China were valued at $603.6 million.

Normally, AD and CVD investigations are initiated in response to petitions filed by a domestic industry alleging that dumped or unfairly subsidized goods are being exported into the US market. Self-initiation authority can be exercised whenever the secretary determines that a formal AD or CVD investigation is warranted.

The department last self-initiated a countervailing duty investigation in 1991 on softwood lumber from Canada. The last self-initiated antidumping duty investigation occurred in 1985 on semiconductors from Japan.

The department has self-initiated these investigations based on information indicating that the United States price of common alloy sheet from China may be less than the normal value of such or similar merchandise and that imports of common alloy sheet from China may be benefiting from countervailable subsidies. The Department also has evidence that imports of common alloy sheet from China may be materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing common alloy sheet in the United States.

The merchandise subject to investigation is common alloy aluminum sheet, which is a flat-rolled aluminum product having a thickness of 6.3 mm or less, but greater than 0.2 mm, in coils or cut-to-length, regardless of width. Common alloy aluminum sheet is typically used in building and construction, transportation, and electrical applications.

The AD and CVD investigations will proceed like any other trade remedy investigation. If the Commerce Department determines that common alloy sheet from China is being dumped into the US market, and/or receiving unfair government subsidies, and if the US International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized US imports of common alloy sheet from China are causing injury to the US industry, the Commerce Department will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.

During the Commerce Department investigations into whether common alloy sheet from China is being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, the ITC will conduct its own investigations into whether the US industry and its workforce are being injured, or threatened with injury, by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determinations approximately on or before January 16, 2018. If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury then the Commerce Department investigations will continue, with a preliminary CVD determination scheduled for February 2018 and a preliminary AD determination scheduled for April 2018, unless these deadlines are extended.

If the Commerce Department preliminarily determines that dumping or unfair subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct US Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all US companies importing the subject aluminum sheet from China.

Final determinations by the Commerce Department in these cases are scheduled for April 2018 for the CVD investigation, and July 2018 for the AD investigation, but those dates may be extended. If either the Commerce Department finds that products are not being dumped or unfairly subsidized, or the ITC finds in its final determinations there is no harm to the US industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be applied.