The United States International Trade Court (USITC) has determined that common alloy aluminum sheet imported into the US from 18 countries materially injured the domestic industry.
The US Department of Commerce initiated proceedings on March 30, 2020 concerning the material that entered the country. The countries that will be affected by this ruling include, Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Imports of common alloy aluminum sheets—which are flat-rolled products used in everything from transportation to construction, infrastructure, electricity, and marine application—increased by 113pc between 2017 and 2019. The US industry exports about 2bn lb (907,185mt) a year.
The common alloy aluminum sheets under unfair trade investigation are no thicker than 6.3 mm and include both unclad sheets and multi-alloy clad sheets.
According to the Aluminum Association, which welcomed the USITC decision, domestic aluminum companies were first hit by a wave of imports from China, which stopped after the association won the case against Chinese imports in 2018. However, imports then surged from 18 countries because of which members of the Aluminum Association are now participating in trade cases to return to more equitable trade policies on aluminum imports.
The USITC’s preliminary decision won plaudits from the US aluminum sector. John Herrmann of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, and counsel to the domestic industry, noted there had been a surge of unfairly-traded common alloy aluminum sheet imports, and that the USITC’s affirmative preliminary decision is a crucial first step towards rectification.