U.S. Commerce Dept. to Reconsider Countervailing Duties on Aluminum Extrusions

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An April 4 decision from the U.S. Court of International Trade has ordered the Department of Commerce to reconsider its 374.15% “all others” countervailing duty (CVD) rate on aluminum extrusions imported to the U.S. from China. Commerce is to complete the review and file its results with the Court on May 4, 2012.

One year ago, Commerce issued its Final Determination that the high “all others” CVD rate would apply to aluminum extrusions imported from China. The Court decision explained that in its investigation, Commerce found there were 114 potential exporters/producers (respondents) to investigate. Commerce identified the three largest respondents by volume as “mandatory respondents.” None of those respondents, however, answered Commerce’s initial questionnaire, leading to Commerce finding that these mandatory respondents withheld information and impeded the investigation. This led to an adverse inference and ultimate determination that the highest calculated subsidy rate applicable to the case was 374.15% for each of these three mandatory respondents (AFA rate). The Court noted that two other Chinese producers submitted voluntary responses. In its Final Determination, Commerce issued CVD rates of 8.02% and 9.94% for those companies’ products.

Having determined CVD rates for the mandatory and voluntary respondents, Commerce calculated the CVD rate for “all other” respondents and determined that rate would be 374.15% as well. After reviewing the pertinent statutory and regulatory sections and considering the arguments made by the importers and Department of Commerce, the Court concluded that the question became whether Commerce used a “reasonable method” for calculating the “all others” rate, as required by law.

The Court rejected Commerce’s argument that it chose to set the “all others” rate at the AFA rate because it had no other rates for the mandatory respondents, calling that a “situation of Commerce’s own making.” The Court pointed out that rates for voluntary respondents were on the record and that although Commerce was permitted to disregard those rates in setting the “all others” rate, it showed that the highest rate was not attributable to all respondents. The Court further found that Commerce’s decision did not show a “logical connection” between the AFA rate and “Commerce’s conclusion to apply that rate to the remaining parties.” Finally, the Court pointed out that the AFA rate is “to be remedial, not punitive.” Since the record did not indicate that Commerce considered how to set a remedial but not punitive “all others” rate, it failed to consider an important aspect of the case. In ordering a remand, the Court stated that it was giving Commerce an opportunity to explain why its decision “complies with the statutory reasonableness requirement.”

The anti-dumping duties/countervailing duties order against aluminum extrusions from China is broad in its scope. The order applies to aluminum alloys starting with series designation numbers 1, 3, and 6 that are produced and imported in a variety of shapes and forms such as hollow profiles, solid profiles, pipes, tubes, bars, and rods. The order also includes drawn aluminum products. Examples of products included in the scope are window and door frames, solar panels, curtain walls, furniture, as well as numerous components used in marine, consumer, and industrial products.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the scope of the order on aluminum extrusions from China or similar orders, please contact Managing Attorney, Jon P. Yormick, [email protected], or by calling toll free (Canada & U.S.), 1.866.947.6425.


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