June 3, 2019

China Not A Currency Manipulator, But Could Face News Duties On Aluminum Wire, Cable

While the U.S. Treasury Department again refused to declare China a currency manipulator, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced last week that it has set preliminary anti-dumping duties ranging from 58.51 percent to 63.5 percent on aluminum wire and cable from China. The United States imported approximately $157 million worth of the products from China in 2017.

The department’s fact sheet explains the investigation covers aluminum wire and cable, defined as an assembly of one or more electrical conductors made from 8000 Series Aluminum Alloys, Aluminum Alloy 1350 and/or Aluminum Alloy 6201, provided that: (1) at least one of the electrical conductors is insulated; (2) each insulated electrical conductor has a voltage rating greater than 80 volts and not exceeding 1000 volts; and (3) at least one electrical conductor is stranded and has a size not less than 16.5 thousand circular mil (kcmil) and not greater than 1000 kcmil. The assembly may: (1) include a grounding or neutral conductor; (2) be clad with aluminum, steel, or other base metal; or (3) include a steel support center wire, one or more connectors, a tape shield, a jacket or other covering, and/or filler materials.

The scope of the investigation specifically excluded aluminum wire and cable products in lengths less than six feet, whether or not included in equipment already assembled at the time of importation.

A final order will be issued later this year if both the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission find that relief is in order.

In related news: the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative also announced last Friday that it will extend the time that certain goods exported from China have to enter the United States before they are subject to an additional tariff increase from 10 percent to 25 percent. Specifically, products subject to tariffs exported from China to United States prior to May 10 will remain subject to a 10 percent tariff if they enter the U.S. before June 15.