Globe showing AsiaThe U.S. Department of Commerce self-initiated trade cases for the first time since 1991 on Tuesday, November 28, on Chinese common alloy aluminum sheet. While Commerce normally opens antidumping and countervailing duty investigations only after requests from the domestic industry, the agency is authorized to self-initiate cases. Commerce last exercised this power for a countervailing duty case in 1991 and for an antidumping case in 1985.

Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement on Tuesday, “President Trump made it clear from day one that unfair trade practices will not be tolerated under this administration, and today, we take one more step in fulfilling that promise. We are self-initiating the first trade case in over a quarter century, showing once again that we stand in constant vigilance in support of free, fair and reciprocal trade.”

Commerce said it expects future investigations will continue to be initiated based on petitions filed on behalf of the domestic industry, but will take action to self-initiate investigations when warranted.

We understand from the International Trade Commission that they have received injury information from Commerce for the purpose of their determination to be made within 45 days. However, the information is not yet publicly available and there has been no formal announcement as to when it will be made public.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by these investigations is aluminum common alloy sheet (common alloy sheet), which is a flat-rolled aluminum product having a thickness of 6.3 mm or less, but greater than 0.2 mm, in coils or cut-to-length, regardless of width. Common alloy sheet within the scope of these investigations includes both not clad aluminum sheet, as well as multi-alloy, clad aluminum sheet. With respect to not clad aluminum sheet, common alloy sheet is manufactured from a 1XXX-, 3XXX-, or 5XXX-series alloy as designated by the Aluminum Association. With respect to multi-alloy, clad aluminum sheet, common alloy sheet is produced from a 3XXX-series core, to which cladding layers are applied to either one or both sides of the core.

Common alloy sheet may be made to ASTM specification B209-14, but can also be made to other specifications. Regardless of specification, however, all common alloy sheet meeting the scope description is included in the scope. Subject merchandise includes common alloy sheet that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigations if performed in the country of manufacture of the common alloy sheet.

Excluded from the scope of these investigations is aluminum can stock, which is suitable for use in the manufacture of aluminum beverage cans, lids of such cans, or tabs used to open such cans.

Aluminum can stock is produced to gauges that range from 0.200 mm to 0.292 mm, and has an H-19, H-41, H-48, or H-391 temper. In addition, aluminum can stock has a lubricant applied to the flat surfaces of the can stock to facilitate its movement through machines used in the manufacture of beverage cans. Aluminum can stock is properly classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7606.12.3045 and 7606.12.3055.

Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set for the above.

Common alloy sheet is currently classifiable under HTSUS subheadings 7606.11.3060, 7606.11.6000, 7606.12.3090, 7606.12.6000, 7606.91.3090, 7606.91.6080, 7606.92.3090, and 7606.92.6080. Further, merchandise that falls within the scope of these investigations may also be entered into the United States under HTSUS subheadings 7606.11.3030, 7606.12.3030, 7606.91.3060, 7606.91.6040, 7606.92.3060, 7606.92.6040, 7607.11.9090. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these investigations is dispositive.

ALLEGED DUMPING MARGIN

China: 56.54% – 59.72%

ALLEGED SUBSIDIES MARGIN

China: Above de minimis

IMPORTS OF SUBJECT MERCHANDISE

China 2014 2015 2016 Jan-Sept 2016 Jan-Sept 2017
Quantity (LB) 417,483,936 592,984,673 606,533,743 458,680,392 615,271,342
Customs Value (USD) $488,753,380 $683,988,553 $603,560,933 $451,527,819 $687,206,700

CONTACT US

For more information concerning this investigation and how it may affect your business, please contact Jeffrey Neeley.