U.S. Government Panel Gives Green Light to Investigation Into Chinese Aluminium Alloy Sheet Imports

The United States government dealt another blow to Chinese aluminium exporters on Friday when the U.S. International Trade Commission released an initial finding that imported aluminium alloy sheet do, in fact, work a material harm upon domestic producers.

The finding released yesterday estimated that anti-dumping duties levied against such importers will fall in a range of between 56.54 percent and 59.72 percent. The vote to affirm the group’s findings, which will affect an estimated US$603.6 million in non-beverage-can flat-rolled aluminium alloy, was unanimous.

Heidi Brock, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association, greeted the findings with enthusiasm.

“The Aluminum Association and its members are encouraged by today’s unanimous preliminary finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission that imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China are a cause of injury to the domestic industry and their workers. U.S. companies that make common alloy aluminum sheet have suffered extensive injury thanks to unfairly traded imports from China for many years. Our members are participating in the trade cases initiated by the Department of Commerce to return fair pricing to the U.S. market, and to allow the U.S. industry to make needed investments to further strengthen its competitiveness.”

John Herrmann, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and counsel to the domestic aluminium industry, hailed the findings as a major hurdle cleared in the race to repair the damage done to U.S. manufacturers.

“The ITC’s affirmative preliminary decision is an important step in remedying the devastating injury that the flood of unfairly-traded imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China have had on the domestic industry.”

The findings released yesterday mean that the countervailing duty and anti-dumping cases against Chinese imports will proceed. The U.S. Commerce Department will now take the reins of the investigation. At present the Commerce Department’s preliminary countervailing duty determination is expected to be released by February 1, while the anti-dumping duty determination is to be released by mid-April.

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