09. August 2017 | Branche, Anwendungen

US Department of Commerce finds foil from China benefiting from government subsidies

The US Department of Commerce has announced its preliminary determination that imports of certain aluminium foil from China are benefiting from unfair government subsidies. As a result, the agency will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to require US importers of aluminium foil from China to deposit estimated countervailing duties at the time of importation. The Commerce Department’s determination follows the filing on 9 March 2017 of antidumping and countervailing duty petitions by the Aluminium Association’s Trade Enforcement Working Group, marking the first time the Aluminium Association has filed unfair trade cases on behalf of its members in its nearly 85-year history. As a result of allegations in the petition, the Commerce Department is investigating 26 different subsidy programs maintained by the Government of China.

“The Association and its foil-producing members are very pleased with the Commerce Department’s finding and we greatly appreciate Secretary Ross’s leadership in enforcing US trade laws to combat unfair practices,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminium Association (AA). “This is an important step to begin restoring a level playing field for US aluminium foil production, an industry that supports more than 20,000 direct, indirect, and induced American jobs, and accounts for USD6.8 billion in economic activity. US aluminium foil producers are among the most competitive producers in the world, but they cannot compete against products that are subsidized by the Chinese government and sold at unfairly low prices.”

Based on information gathered to date, the Commerce Department calculated preliminary subsidy margins ranging from 16.56 to 80.97% of the value of the imported aluminium foil. In particular, the Commerce Department calculated subsidy margins of 16.56 and 28.33%, respectively, for Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Co., Ltd and Hangzhou Dingsheng Import & Export Co., Ltd and its affiliates, which the Department selected for mandatory, company-specific investigation.

In addition, the Commerce Department assigned a preliminary subsidy margin of 80.97% to shipments of aluminium foil by Loften Aluminium (Hong Kong) Ltd and Manakin Industries, LLC, which the agency found to be uncooperative as they failed to participate to the best of their ability in the investigation after being selected as mandatory respondents. Finally, the Department calculated a subsidy margin of 22.45% for all other Chinese producers and exporters that cooperated in the Department’s investigation, but were not selected for individual investigation.

The next step in this trade action will be the Commerce Department’s issuance of its preliminary antidumping duty determination, which is scheduled to be announced on 5 October 2017. If an affirmative preliminary antidumping determination is issued by the Commerce Department, US importers will be required to post cash deposits or bonds on all entries of aluminium foil from China in the amount of the subsidy and dumping margin calculated by the agency.

Imports of aluminium foil from China increased by nearly 40% between 2014 and 2016. China was the largest supplier of aluminium foil to the US market in 2016, accounting for more than 70% of all imports.

The aluminium foil subject to the Commerce Department’s investigation includes all imports from China of aluminium foil that is less than 0.2 mm in thickness in reels weighing more than 25 pounds (11.34 kg) and that is not backed, etched for use in capacitors, or cut to shape. The aluminium foil subject to the investigations is used in a variety of consumer and industrial applications, with specific uses that include: household foil, flexible and semi-rigid cookware, product packaging, automotive and HVAC heat exchangers, among other common uses.