The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued its long-awaited circumvention decision in the Aluminum Extruders Council’s (AEC) petition against China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. The AEC alleges that the company has systematically and illegally evaded duties on aluminum extrusions imported into the United States.
The DOC concluded that
“based on the information provided by Petitioner, the Department finds there is sufficient basis to initiate an anti-circumvention inquiry, pursuant to sections 781(c) and 781(d) of the Act.
The Department will determine whether the merchandise subject to the inquiry (identified in the “Merchandise Subject to the Anti-Circumvention Inquiry” section) involves either a minor alteration to subject merchandise in such minor respects that it should be subject to the Orders,and/or represents a later-developed product that can be considered subject to the Orders.
The Department will not order the suspension of liquidation of entries of any additional merchandise at this time. However, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(l)(2), if the Department issues a preliminary affirmative determination, we will then instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation and require a cash deposit of estimated duties, at the applicable rate, for each unliquidated entry of the merchandise at issue, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after the date of initiation of the inquiry.”
“We applaud the DOC’s decision to initiate an anti-circumvention investigation,” said Jeff Henderson, director of Operations for the AEC. “We look forward to the industry receiving relief from this duty evasion scheme.”
The AEC has been at the head of efforts to achieve level competition for the the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry through tariff protection that offsets unfair trade practices of extruders/importers of aluminum profiles produced in China. According to the association, an estimated 600 million pounds per year of extrusions are being produced in the U.S. that would have otherwise been lost to China.