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  June 21st, 2018 | Written by

US Slaps Preliminary Antidumping Duties on Aluminum Sheet from China

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  • Commerce announced preliminary results of first self-initiated AD trade case since 1985.
  • Commerce already reached a preliminary determination on countervailing duties for Chinese aluminum sheet.
  • “In an attempt to punish China, the administration is wreaking havoc on the global economy.”

United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the first antidumping duty (AD) trade case the federal government initiated since 1985. This self-initiated AD investigation concerns imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China.

The investigation, and a companion countervailing duty investigation, was initiated by the Enforcement and Compliance division of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration under authority granted in the Tariff Act of 1930.  The CVD investigation reached a preliminary determination in February 2018 and is still being adjudicated.

In its preliminary finding, Commerce determined that exporters from China have sold common alloy aluminum sheet in the United States at 167.16 percent less than fair value. As a result of the decision, Commerce will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of common alloy aluminum sheet from China based on these preliminary rates.

In 2017, imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China were valued at an estimated $900 million.

“In an attempt to punish China, the administration is wreaking havoc on the global economy,” said Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “These harmful policies will have costly effects across American industries, but few are being singled out quite like the US recreational boating industry.”

The Commerce announcement means that common alloy aluminum sheet imports from China will now face a total tariff of at least 210 percent, according to Dammrich. The Commerce Department failed to seek input from industries facing the impacts of the tariffs as part of its investigation, he added.

“These tariffs have already distorted the global market and additional cost spikes are all but inevitable,” said Dammrich. “This is terrible news for marine manufacturers, as aluminum boats represent 44 percent of new boat sales each year and account for $3 billion in retail sales.”

Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final determination on October 30, 2018. If the Department of Commerce makes a final affirmative determination, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) will make a final injury determination.  If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination of dumping and the ITC makes affirmative a final injury determination, Commerce will issue an AD order. If Commerce makes a negative final determination of dumping or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.