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U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China


Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of aluminum foil from the People’s Republic of China (China), preliminary finding that Chinese exporters of aluminum foil received countervailing subsidies 16.56 to 80.97 percent.

The Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of aluminum foil from China based on these preliminary rates.

“The United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade, and will continue to validate the information provided to us that brought us to this decision,” said Secretary Ross. “The Trump Administration will not stand idly by as harmful trade practices from foreign nations attempt to take advantage of our essential industries, workers, and businesses.”

Commerce calculated preliminary subsidy rates of 28.33 percent ad valorem for Dingsheng Aluminum Industries (Hong Kong) Trading Co., Ltd, 16.56 percent for Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Co., Ltd., the two companies that ultimately participated in the proceeding.;

Loften Aluminum (Hong Kong) Limited refused to participate in this investigation. Manakin Industries LLC claimed to only be an importer; however, our analysis also revealed that Manakin Industries LLC and Suzhou Manakin Aluminum Processing Technology Co., Ltd. (Suzhou Manakin) worked jointly to export Chinese aluminum foil to the United States. In addition, the Department requested necessary information from Suzhou Manakin regarding its Chinese suppliers, but this information was not provided. All three of these companies’ preliminary subsidy rates were thus determined entirely on the basis of adverse facts available due to their failure to provide necessary information requested by the Department.

In 2016, imports of aluminum foil from China were valued at an estimated $389 million.

This marks the first time that The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group has been a petitioner in an enforcement and compliance trade case.

This countervailing duty case against aluminum foil from China is independent of the Aluminum 232 investigation, launched on April 27, 2017, to consider whether aluminum overcapacity, dumping, illegal subsidies, and other factors, threaten American economic security and military preparedness.

Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration. From January 20 through August 8, Commerce has initiated 64 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 40 percent increase from the previous year. For the same time period in 2016, Commerce had initiated 40 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.

Countervailing duty laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair subsidization of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 404 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Unless the final determination is postponed, Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final CVD determination on October 24.

If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination of subsidization and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue a CVD order. If Commerce makes a negative final determination of subsidization or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.

Click HERE for a fact sheet on today’s decision.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based solely on factual evidence.

Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments in the form of grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks and production inputs are subject to “countervailing duties” aimed at directly countering those subsidies.

In fiscal year 2016, the United States collected $1.5 billion in duties on $14 billion of imported goods found to be underpriced or subsidized by foreign governments.