The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) voted this past Friday to continue investigations into 14 countries for illegal and unfair dumping practices, determining that “there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of aluminum extrusions.”
USITC’s investigation follows a petition filed in October 2023 by the Aluminum Extruders Coalition (AEC) and United Steelworkers (USW) in what officials called “a fight for [their] very life.” By using “highly dumped and subsidized prices,” foreign producers of aluminum extrusions have gained a “significant and increasing share of the U.S. market at the direct expense of the U.S. industry,” AEC officials alleged.
Following an initial investigation, USITC officials said there’s a reasonable indication that imports from China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam materially injure the U.S. industry for aluminum extrusions. Extrusions from those countries are allegedly sold in the U.S. at less than fair value and subsidized by the Governments of China, Indonesia and Mexico, the commission reported. At the same time, officials said they determined there is a reasonable indication that its own government allegedly subsidizes imports from Turkey.
While aluminum imports from the Dominican Republic were among those listed in the petition, USITC found them negligible and voted to terminate the antidumping duty investigation concerning that country.
“U.S. aluminum extruders and their workers, including thousands of USW workers, are suffering due to unfairly traded imports from these countries,” said Robert E. DeFrancesco, a partner in the International Trade Practice at Wiley Rein LLP, the firm representing petitioners. “Today’s vote by the commission takes the domestic industry one step closer to restoring a level playing field to the U.S. aluminum extrusions market.”
According to Wiley Rein, dumping margins for imports are alleged to be as high as 377%.
In 2022, AEC reported the share of the U.S. market for aluminum extrusions had decreased from 80% to 75% after tariffs were revoked, translating to 300 million pounds of extrusions. Officials said that amount is equivalent to eight extrusion plants and 2,000 jobs at the time.
According to officials at Wiley Rein, because of USITC’s determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue investigating imports from China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, with preliminary countervailing duty (CVD) determinations due on or about December 28, 2023. Preliminary antidumping duty determinations are due on or about March 12, 2024.
“If Commerce also reaches affirmative preliminary determinations in these cases, suspension of liquidation of import entries will begin, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will start to collect provisional AD and CVD duties from importers at that time based on the preliminary margins calculated,” officials for Wiley said.
If both the USITC and Commerce reach affirmative final determinations, AD and CVD orders will be issued, imposing duties on unfairly traded imports for a minimum of five years.