AEC Investigates Chinese Imports

Earlier this year, the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) board of directors decided to pursue an investigation into possible unfair trade practices with regard to aluminum extrusions imported into the United States and Canada from the People's Republic of China. The council says its plan to pursue an investigation into trade practices by Chinese importers was based on strong, near-unanimous support and recommendations from a substantial number of AEC member companies. The AEC engaged outside legal counsel for the purposes of gathering data from AEC members, which has led to a detailed evaluation of possible trade actions against such imports from China.

A full report was distributed in early August to all AEC-member companies that participated in the survey. The following is the key opinion of AEC's counsel, Stephen Jones of King and Spalding, LLC:

"The data gathered provides substantial evidence that imports of aluminum extrusions from China are being dumped and are benefiting from countervailable subsidies. There is no question that Chinese imports are being sold in the United States at unfairly low prices.

Accordingly, a successful anti-dumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) petition and the imposition of AD and CVD orders likely would impose substantial duties on these imports."

The above opinion applies to imports into the United States. However, a similar conclusion is likely in the case of Canada. In the wake of the U.S. evaluation, an analysis of the Canadian situation is being pursued.

The Washington-based law firm of King and Spalding served as lead counsel on this effort and they also served as the collection point for confidential responses to AEC's survey on imports and their impact on U.S. and Canadian markets. Additionally, AEC retained the services of Ottawa-based counsel, Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, to provide expertise specific to Canada. Data was gathered, in part, via a questionnaire sent to all AEC extruder members in the U.S. and Canada.

AEC extruder members that did not participate in the survey are advised there is still time to do so. Late-arriving data will be added to the evaluation. Accordingly, the AEC will continue to support and facilitate the ongoing gathering of data.

"The council has always been a champion of expanding markets and fair trade. AEC has also been a champion of best industry practices, including fair trade practices. It was for this reason that AEC decided to conduct this evaluation to determine, once and for all, whether trade was being conducted in accordance with the fair practices as established by the World Trade Organization," says AEC president Rand Baldwin. He adds, "The information we've gathered clearly shows evidence of unfair dealings on the part of Chinese importers. What happens next will now be determined by interested industry parties."

For more information, visit the council's website at www.aec.org.


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