The European Commission initiated an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports into the European Union of aluminum extrusions originating in the People’s Republic of China. Their action follows similar efforts by the U.S., Canada, Australia, and several other countries across the world. The investigation follows a complaint by European Aluminium whose member companies are negatively impacted by the dumping of Chinese exports of aluminum extrusions.
The EU action takes aim at aluminum extrusion imports from China, including bars, rods, profiles (solid and hollow), tubes, and pipes — which are unassembled and whether or not they are prepared for use in structures (e.g. cut-to-length, drilled, bent, chamfered, threaded). The extruded products include those made from aluminum, alloyed or not, containing not more than 99.3% of aluminum.
Products not covered by this investigation include products attached (e.g. by welding or fasteners) to form subassemblies; welded tubes and pipes; and products in a packaged kit with the necessary parts to assemble a finished product without further finishing or fabrication of the parts.
Chinese exports to the EU have more than doubled in the past five years; this is particularly the case for extrusions. “Measuring distortions in international markets: The aluminium value chain,” a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), states that Chinese producers are recipients of vast amounts of state subsidies, which stimulate them to increase production and allows them to offer products below production costs on the international market. According to the report, global aluminum companies have received up to US$70 billion in different forms of support over the 2013-2017 period. Notably, 85% of the documented subsidies went to just five Chinese firms.
“Increasing amounts of underpriced Chinese exports are dumped on the EU market, with harmful consequences for European aluminum producers. In the past year, production lines and entire plants closed, with significant job losses as a result,” said Gerd Götz, director general of European Aluminium. “Chinese firms are not playing by the rules and show no signs of changing their approach. We have every reason to believe the dumping will continue unless the EU protects its market. If no urgent action is taken, Chinese production will further substitute European production and the EU risks losing a strategic value chain that is crucial to many low carbon applications.”
Lauren Wilk, vice president for policy and international trade at the Aluminum Association, stated, “The Aluminum Association appreciates the European Union’s efforts to enforce international trade laws by investigating dumping of Chinese aluminum extrusions. Strong trade enforcement is absolutely essential to creating a level playing field for aluminum producers worldwide. The Aluminum Association has supported two successful antidumping and countervailing duty cases against unfairly traded aluminum foil and common alloy sheet in recent years. Previously, the industry was successful in pursuing antidumping measures on Chinese aluminum extrusions unfairly dumped in the United States. We welcome additional efforts by our trading partners in Europe and around the world that demonstrate a commitment to the rigorous and timely enforcement of global trade rules.”