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Congressional Committee Seeks Information on Competitiveness of U.S. Aluminium Industry

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (Republican-Texas) has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to conduct an investigation under Section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930 on relevant factors affecting the global competitiveness of the U.S. aluminium industry. Rep. Brady requested that the USITC submit within 16 months a report that includes the following, focusing primarily on the year 2011-2015.

  • an overview of the aluminium industry in the United States and other major global producing and exporting countries
  • recent trade trends and developments in the global market for aluminium, including trade flows through third countries for further processing and subsequent export
  • a comparison of the competitive strengths and weaknesses of aluminium production and exports in the United States and other major producing and exporting countries
  • in countries where unwrought aluminium capacity has significantly increased, the factors driving those capacity and related production changes
  • a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the impact of government policies and programmes in major aluminium producing and exporting countries on their production, exports, consumption and domestic prices and on the U.S. aluminium industry and aluminium markets worldwide

General fact-finding investigations carried out by the USITC cover matters related to tariffs or trade. The resulting reports convey the Commission’s objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. However, the Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general fact-finding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester and the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

A Section 332 investigation may in certain instances be a precursor to an antidumping and/or countervailing duty case. Indeed, data compiled through such a proceeding can be used extensively to prepare AD/CV duty petitions. The United States currently has a single AD duty order in place on imports of mainland Chinese aluminium products, covering aluminium extrusions classified under HTSUS subheadings 7604.21.0000, 7604.29.1000, 7604.29.3010, 7604.29.3050, 7604.29.5030, 7604.29.5060, 7608.20.0030, 7608.20.0090, 7610.10, 7610.90, 7615.19, 7615.20, 7616.99, 8418.99.8050 and 8418.99.8060. However, several reports suggest that additional cases may potentially be filed against certain raw and semi-fabricated aluminium products.

High-growth products from mainland China that could potentially be targeted include, among others, rectangular aluminium alloy plates, sheets and strip of a thickness exceeding 0.2 mm classified under HTSUS 7606.12.30 (U.S. imports from mainland China grew by 45.9 percent to US$811.4 million in 2015) and 7606.12.60 (up by 478.8 percent to US$12.2 million); certain aluminium foil classified under HTSUS 7607.11.60 (up by 28.6 percent to US$163.6 million) and 7607.20.50 (up by 39.3 percent to US$83.9 million); and aluminium alloy wire classified under HTUS 7605.29.00 (up by 181.1 percent to US$8.9 million).

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