US aluminum extrusion makers seek duties on China

Posted by tjdetai on December 21st, 2015


U.S. manufacturers of an aluminum product used by the automobile and construction industries have asked President Barack Obama's administration to slap duties on competing imports from China, industry and government officials said on Thursday.

The U.S. Commerce Department will decide by April 21 whether to accept a petition charging that Chinese "aluminum extrusion" producers receive government subsidies and sell their goods in the United States at below-market prices, a department official said.

That would lead to two separate Commerce Department investigations over the next 12 to 14 months into whether to impose significant anti-dumping and countervailing duties on the Chinese goods.

The industry petition contends one way China subsidizes its domestic producers is by undervaluing its currency and it asks for countervailing duties to offset that.

The U.S. government does not currently impose duties to offset currency manipulation, but is mulling that possibility in another case involving coated paper imports from China.

Aluminum extrusions are made by squeezing heated aluminum compound through a die with a profile of the desired shape, according to an industry website.

Construction and automobile industries are two of the biggest consumers of extruded aluminum and uses include doors and window frames, structural framing systems, roofing and exterior cladding.

While some of the shapes are complex and not easily mass produced, others are more simpler and "susceptible to a lot of price competition," said Rand Baldwin, president of the Aluminum Extruders Council in Wauconda, Illinois.

Both Canada and Australia have moved to curb imports of aluminum extrusions from China.

U.S. producers of glyphosate, a herbicide used to kills weeds, also have filed a petition asking for anti-dumping duties on imports from China, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.

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