The United States government fired another shot across the bow of the People’s Republic of China’s ship of state on Thursday when the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) voted unanimously in the affirmative for the proposition that imports of Chinese aluminium foil inflicted material harm upon the U.S. aluminium industry.
The vote, which is unrelated to the Section 232 investigation completed by the Commerce Department earlier this year, was the culmination of an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy case first brought by the Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group just over one year ago.
In addition, the final vote paves the way for the Commerce Department to enact antidumping and countervailing duties for five years. Announced late last month, the Department recommended dumping margins of 48.64 percent to 106.9 percent and anti-subsidy rates from 17.14 percent to 80.97 percent.
Heidi Brock, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association, lauded the vote as a win both for domestic aluminium foil producers and for the trading system as a whole.
“Today’s decision is a victory not only for U.S. foil producers but also for the rules-based trading system. When companies have confidence that our trade rules are being enforced they have the confidence to invest and grow. The ITC’s determination will move the foil industry toward a level playing field, allowing domestic producers of aluminum foil to pursue investments in their operations – investments that will further strengthen their competitiveness.”
John Herrmann, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, counsel to the domestic industry, complimented the ITC’s action as a move in leveling the playing field for aluminium foil producers in the U.S.
“This determination is an important step in restoring fair competition in the U.S. marketplace for domestic producers that have suffered extensive injury for many years from imports of unfairly-traded aluminum foil from China.”
For its part, the Chinese government reiterated the “strong dissatisfaction” it expressed in February regarding the ruling. China’s Ministry of Commerce’s Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau leader Wang Hejun complained that the finding “disregarded WTO rules” and would harm Chinese aluminium foil interests.