The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) filed a petition against China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd., alleging the company has systematically and illegally evaded duties on aluminum extrusions imported into the United States. The alleged scheme involves hundreds of millions of pounds of aluminum extrusions that are simply cut and welded into aluminum slabs. Upon entering the U.S., these extrusions are being identified as “pallets” even though the testimony the Council has gathered makes it clear the sole purpose of these extrusions is to remelt them back into billets.
“In late July, the AEC released a statement to the press calling on the United States Government, as well as others identified in the Dupre Analytics report, to investigate issues of transshipment and circumvention by Zhongwang,” said Jeff Henderson, director of Operations at the AEC. “We have made our case to U.S. Customs regarding the transshipment allegations, and now we are filing our circumvention case with the Department of Commerce.”
The report, released in July by Dupre Analytics, contended that Zhongwang’s chairman, Liu Zhongtian, and his family have developed a “network of proxies and intermediaries outside of China, and used them to secretly set up entities and aluminum processing facilities that span the globe.”
Zhongwang has denied all short-seller allegations, calling them “groundless or untrue.”
The circumvention and scope clarification case brought on by the AEC also alleges that China Zhongwang has been exporting 5xxx series alloy extrusions into the U.S. in order to avoid U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties.
Once filed, the Department of Commerce has forty-five days to review and decide whether or not to launch a full investigation. “Given the severity of this case to our domestic industry, we call on the Department of Commerce to investigate this case,” said Henderson.