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U.S. Aluminum Industry Files Unfair Trade Cases Against Imports of Aluminum Foil From Five Countries

Capital Building in Washington D.C.© by Quick PS

The Aluminum Association’s Foil Trade Enforcement Working Group filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions charging that unfairly traded imports of aluminum foil from five countries — Armenia, Brazil, Oman, Russia, and Turkey — are causing material injury to the domestic industry.

In early 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce published antidumping and countervailing duty orders on similar foil products from China. Existing unfair trade orders in the U.S., such as this, have prompted Chinese producers to shift exports of aluminum foil to other foreign markets, which has resulted in producers in those countries exporting their own production to the U.S.

“We continue to see how persistent aluminum overcapacity driven by structural subsidies in China harms the entire sector,” said Tom Dobbins, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “While domestic aluminum foil producers were able to invest and expand following the initial targeted trade enforcement action against imports from China in 2018, those gains were short lived. As Chinese imports receded from the U.S. market, they were replaced by a surge of unfairly-traded aluminum foil imports that are injuring the U.S. industry.”

The U.S. aluminum industry’s petitions filed concurrently with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) allege that aluminum foil imports from Armenia, Brazil, Oman, Russia, and Turkey are being sold at unfairly low prices in the U.S. — at margins of up to 107.61%. In addition, the petitions allege that imports from Oman and Turkey benefit from actionable government subsidy programs, eight from Oman and 25 from Turkey.

Between 2017 and 2019, imports from the five subject countries increased by 110% to more than 210 million lbs. While domestic producers expected to benefit from the publication in April 2018 of antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of aluminum foil from China – and have pursued substantial capital investments to increase their capacity to supply this product to the U.S. market — aggressively low-priced imports from the subject countries captured a substantial portion of the market share previously held by imports from China.

“Imports of unfairly low-priced aluminum foil from the subject countries have surged into the U.S. market, devastating pricing in the U.S. market and resulting in further injury to U.S. producers following the imposition of measures to address unfairly-traded imports from China in April 2018,” added John M. Herrmann, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the petitioners’ trade counsel. “The domestic industry looks forward to the opportunity to present its case to the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to obtain relief from unfairly traded imports and to restore fair competition in the U.S. market.”

Aluminum foil is a flat rolled aluminum product that is used in a variety of applications, including as food and pharmaceutical packaging and industrial applications, such as thermal insulation, cables, and electronics. The aluminum foil subject to the unfair trade petitions includes all imports of aluminum foil that is less than 0.2 mm in thickness (less than 0.0078 inches) in reels weighing more than 25 pounds and that is not backed. In addition, the unfair trade petitions do not cover etched capacitor foil or aluminum foil that has been cut to shape.

“The U.S. aluminum industry relies on strong international supply chains and we took this step only after significant deliberation and examination of the facts and data on the ground,” added Dobbins. “It is simply not tenable for domestic foil producers to continue to operate in an environment of persistent unfairly traded imports.”

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