US says Chinese aluminium foil imports are being dumped and subsidised by Beijing

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 February, 2018, 4:48am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 February, 2018, 7:50am

The US Commerce Department has made a final determination that imports of some aluminium foil from China are being sold in the United States at less than their fair value and producers are benefiting from subsidies from Beijing, an aluminium trade group said on Tuesday.

The Aluminium Association said in a statement that antidumping and countervailing duties would be levied on a number of Chinese firms, with dumping margins ranging from 48.64 per cent to 106.09 per cent and anti-subsidy rates of 17.14 per cent to 80.97 per cent.

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The Commerce Department’s formal announcement on the decision has not yet been released publicly.

The duties, which would take effect for five years, remain subject to a finding of injury to US producers by the International Trade Commission (ITC), which is due to announce its decision by March 15.

US President Donald Trump is due to decide soon whether to impose much broader duties on steel and aluminium imports under a national security investigation, amid mounting trade friction with China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, Liu He, will visit the United States this week, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday, to exchange views “on China-US relations and the two countries’ economic and trade cooperation.”

The foil case, the first the US aluminium industry has brought against China’s aluminium sector, could serve as a litmus test for the “Section 232” decision and other aluminium anti-dumping cases aimed at curbing excess Chinese production.

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In 2016, imports of aluminium foil from China were valued at an estimated US$389 million, Commerce Department figures show.

Last month, a group of US aluminium foil producers told the ITC their industry had been devastated by Chinese imports and needed anti-dumping duties to survive and invest.

“The aluminium Association and its foil-producing members are extremely pleased with the Commerce Department’s final determinations,” the group’s president, Heidi Brock, said in the statement announcing the decision.

“US aluminium foil producers are among the most competitive producers in the world, but they cannot compete against products that are sold at unfairly low prices and subsidised by the Government of China,” Brock said.

According to the US trade group, the Commerce Department antidumping margins will be set at 48.64 per cent for Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Co Ltd, at 106.09 per cent for Hangzhou Dingsheng Import & Export Co Ltd, 84.94 per cent for cooperative respondents and 106.09 per ccent for all other producers in China.

Countervailing duty margins will be 17.14 per cent for Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials, 19.98 per cent for Hangzhou Dingsheng Import & Export, 18.56 per cent for all others except for non-cooperative correspondents, which face a rate of 80.97 per cent, the association said, citing Commerce Department figures.