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April 27, 2020

U.S. ITC Makes Preliminary Aluminum Alloy Ruling While Debate About 232 Tariffs Continues

In March, the U.S. Commerce Department launched an investigation into whether the 18 countries were dumping aluminum sheet into the U.S. market, and whether four countries were unfairly subsidizing their exports.

A month later, on April 22, the U.S. International Trade Commission took its first official step in the case, voting unanimously  that there is a reasonable indication that U.S. industry is materially injured by imports of these products from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey. The ITC also ruled that there is evidence that the governments of Bahrain, Brazil, India, and Turkey unfairly subsidized these products.

As a result, the Commerce Department will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. Its preliminary countervailing duty determinations are due on or about June 3, 2020 and its antidumping duty determinations are due on or about August 17, 2020.

In other trade news: the Mercatus Center at George Washington University reported last week that, since its last update in early December 2019, there have been 17,457 new Section 232 steel tariff exclusion requests and 2,333 new aluminum tariff exclusion requests filed with the U.S. government. These figures represent a 56 percent increase in steel filings and a 71 percent increase in aluminum filings. To date, U.S. manufacturers have applied for relief more than 100,000 times through the Section 232 program’s exclusion request process. In an article this week, meanwhile, FastmarketsAMM discussed differing views from the industry regarding whether Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs should continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read the article, which is available only to subscribers.