U.S. Aluminum Extruders Applaud ITC Vote

May 3, 2011
Government

The United States International Trade Commission has reached a final determination in its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of imports of aluminum extrusions from China. Agreeing with U.S. Department of Commerce findings that these products are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value, ITC officials have cleared the way for preliminary duties imposed last year to be put in place for the next five years.

"We are extremely pleased that the ITC agreed with our position and that orders will be imposed to level the playing field for U.S. producers and their employees," says Duncan Crowdis, president of Bonnell Aluminum and chairman of the Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee. A coalition of U.S. producers of aluminum extruders representing the majority of U.S. product, along with the United Steelworkers union, representing about 2,000 workers at aluminum extrusion plants across the country, filed the initial petition in this case in March 2010.  "Unfair trade has hurt our industry, but the orders will enable domestic producers to recover lost business and compete under fair conditions going forward," Crowdis adds.

"This is an important decision for U.S. aluminum extrusion producers, which saw unfair imports from China decimate their markets during the past several years," states Stephan A. Jones of King & Spalding LLP, lead counsel to the committee.  Dumped and subsidized imports from China surged into the United States in 2009, increasing their market share from 8 percent to almost 20 percent during a time of declining demand, his law firm reports.

Imports were able to capture market share only by underselling U.S. producers by substantial margins, it continues. As a result, the industry suffered declines in production, shipments, employment and profitabilty that did not begin to improve until after the coalition petition was filed and preliminary duties were imposed in September 2010. The final decision by the U.S. ITC means that the preliminary relief will be made final and will be in place for five years.

"The industry has ample capacity to meet the needs of U.S. purchasers and a motivated workforce that is second to none in the world," Jones states. "Fair trade resulting from these orders will ensure that domestic producers and their employees are able to survive, grow and prosper."

The U.S. ITC decision excluded "finished heat sinks" components used in electronics industry from the final orders.