The Aluminum Extruders Council, last week, filed a Circumvention and Scope Clarification case with the Commerce Department against aluminum producer China Zhongwang alleging that the Chinese aluminum producer is using semi-finished products to circumvent taxes meant to account for government subsidies.
Commerce concluded, late Tuesday, that, “based on the information provided by petitioner, the department finds there is sufficient basis to initiate an anti-circumvention inquiry.”
Commerce will now determine whether the merchandise subject to the inquiry, semi-finished aluminum products from China, involves either a minor alteration to subject merchandise or that it represents a later-developed product that can be considered subject to current anti-dumping law.
“Mounting evidence from private investigators, testimony from former employees, data from online import and export databases, and anecdotal evidence from a variety of reporters and other sources made it clear that ZW has consistently and systematically been exporting aluminum extrusions that are simply welded together into what are essentially aluminum slabs,” the Aluminum Extruders Council wrote in a statement.
“While they claim these so-called ‘deep-processed’ extrusions are aluminum pallets, there is no evidence that ZW or any of its U.S.-based operations market such a product. It is simply incomprehensible that a company would export hundreds of millions of pounds of these extrusions into the U.S. without even marketing them,” the statement continued.
Customs and Border Protection Notified
Prior to filing this case, the AEC, and others, petitioned U.S. Customs and Border Protection to address the allegations made in the Dupre Report about trans-shipments from ZW into the U.S. through Vietnam and Malaysia.
This is classified as an e-allegation made to Customs, which goes into a queue wherein the agency decides whether or not to investigate. The AEC will not be informed of an investigation so it intends to keep the pressure on Customs to investigate the charges.