WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) this week called on U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske to fully enforce antidumping and countervailing duty orders on China’s aluminum extrusions to level the playing field for domestic aluminum extruders.
The letter was cosigned by U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bob Casey (D-PA).
“The AD and CVD orders are needed to level the playing field for American aluminum extruders, but they are effective only if they are strongly enforced. We urge you to take action to fully enforce the orders and ensure the viability of the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry,” said the senators in their letter.
Chinese producers have been actively evading AD and CVD duties through tactics like making minor additions to the alloy content of their products. This is unfair and harms U.S. companies that play by the rules, including domestic extruders like Aerolite Extrusion Company and General Extrusions Inc. in Youngstown.
Portman and Brown have worked to give domestic industries the ability to fight unfair trade practices. Earlier this year, Portman and Brown’s the Leveling the Playing Field Act was signed into law, ushering in the most significant changes to trade remedy law since 2002.
Full text of the letter is below:
Dear Secretary Pritzker and Commissioner Kerlikowske:
We are writing on behalf of our constituents in the domestic aluminum extrusions industry to urge you to fully enforce the current antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on aluminum extrusions from China by addressing Chinese producers’ efforts to evade and circumvent these orders.
We have heard from U.S. companies that Chinese producers are evading the AD and CVD orders and denying American producers the relief the trade cases should have afforded. Specifically, we understand that Chinese producers and their affiliates in the U.S. are importing into the U.S. a product they are calling “pallets” to avoid the AD and CVD duties. These “pallets” are too small and not strong enough to be used as commercial-grade pallets. In fact, companies report that they appear to be aluminum extrusions that are covered by the orders but have simply been welded together in a pallet shape. Chinese producers and exporters also appear to be avoiding the duties by making minor additions to the alloy content of the aluminum for other extrusion products. These evasion tactics, among others, have occurred only after AD and CVD duty collection had begun and are undermining the effectiveness of the AD and CVD orders.
The domestic industry has submitted a petition requesting a scope clarification and an anti-circumvention inquiry request to address this duty evasion and circumvention. We urge you to act on this request with expediency. The AD and CVD orders are needed to level the playing field for American aluminum extruders, but they are effective only if they are strongly enforced. We urge you to take action to fully enforce the orders and ensure the viability of the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry.