Last week, the U.S. International Trade Administration rescinded the Department of Commerce’s request to 124 Chinese aluminum extruders to participate in the 2014 administrative review of anti-dumping and countervailing duties previously levied against them.
One of those companies was China Zhongwang Group, the world’s second-largest producer of aluminum extrusions. Last year, Zhongwang was accused of evading U.S. import duties by shipping extruded aluminum products — including pallets and 5050 alloy extrusions — into the country without paying the duties.
“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,” U.S. industry group the Aluminum Extruders Council wrote in a statement at the time.
“While they claim these so-called ‘deep-processed’ extrusions are aluminum pallets, there is no evidence that Zhongwang 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.
The Aluminum Extruders’ Council stressed that the administrative review has no bearing on the ongoing Zhongwang scope and circumvention cases. Commerce sends notices and requests to Chinese extruders inviting them to participate in that year’s administrative review every year. Zhongwang’s invitation was simply rescinded with all of the others as a matter of protocol.
However, Commerce did announce its preliminary rates for the administrative review. The countervailing duty rates for aluminum extrusions are staying at 20% and the anti-dumping duty rates have been maintained at 86% for 2017. These are preliminary decisions and Commerce will announce final determinations in December.