Attorney Donald R. Dinan testified in a hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) on competitive conditions in the U.S. Aluminum industry on behalf of domestic aluminum tube and fin evaporator coil manufacturers. Other witnesses included representatives of the major domestic producers, including Alcoa, Century, Noranda, Novellis and Jupiter Aluminum.
The ITC held the hearing as part of an investigation, pursuant to Section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1332) on Competitive Conditions Affecting the U.S. Aluminum Industry. The investigation was at the request of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives. The focus of the investigation was China’s unfair trade in aluminum and fabricated aluminum products which was threatening the existence of the American aluminum industry and was putting tens of thousands of American workers out of their jobs.
Mr. Dinan testified on how China was dumping aluminum extrusions in the United States and was illegally subsidizing exports. He explained how Chinese overproduction and stockpiling to unprecedented historical levels was driving down the price of aluminum on the London Metal Exchange (“LME”) to levels where other global producers, specifically in the United States, could not be profitable at the suppressed price levels. Mr. Dinan noted that Chinese prices for extruded aluminum goods imported into the United States were below the cost of production, even in some instances, below the cost of the raw materials themselves. Mr. Dinan stated, that if the ITC did not take remedial action through the imposition of penalty duties as allowed by WTO rules, the very existence of large segments of the U.S. industry was at risk.
Subsequently, Mr. Dinan accompanied an ITC investigative team to Brazeway, Inc.’s plant in Hopkinson, Kentucky. Brazeway is the largest domestic producer of extruded aluminum tubing and fabrications of heat transfer components used in the air conditioning, automotive, home appliance and refrigeration industries. It is the major supplier of these components to the Carrier plant in Indiana which was a focal point on trade in the last presidential election. The ITC’s investigators were viewing Brazeway’s operations and the way they were being adversely affected by Chinese unfair trade.
In June 2017, the ITC issued its 587 page report “Aluminum: Competitive Conditions Affecting the U.S. Industry,” ITC Pub. No. 4703. Subsequently, in two related investigations, the ITC and the Department of Commerce (“DOT/ITA”) imposed 86 percent penalty tariffs against Chinese extruded aluminum imports. Also, in a separate agreement with the United States Government, China has agreed not to export aluminum ingots to the United States.
Learn more about Goetz Fitzpatrick’s International Trade Practice Group.