Brown Urges Commerce Department to Stand Up Against Unfair Chinese Trade Practices, Protect Jobs at Trenton's Magnode Corporation

During Administrative Review, Brown Calls on the Commerce Department to Use Accurate Data, Ensure Duties Cover Aluminum Extrusion Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) led a bipartisan group of eight senators in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to stand up for Butler County jobs – like those at Magnode Corporation – against unfair Chinese trade practices in the aluminum extrusion industry.

“When countries like China dump their products in the U.S. market, it threatens Ohio jobs and our workers’ ability to compete,” Brown said. “Ohio companies like Magnode Corporation in Trenton deserve a fair chance in the marketplace and the Commerce Department owes workers a full and fair investigation. That’s why I’m urging the Administration to address any harm caused to American businesses and workers.”

In a letter to Commerce Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance Paul Piquado, Brown called on the Administration to ensure a level playing field for aluminum extrusion manufacturers.

The Commerce Department is currently conducting an administrative review of the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders against Chinese imports of aluminum extrusions.  These orders are critical to stopping the flood of unfairly-traded imports. While this review is underway, Brown and the senators are urging the Commerce Department to work with the domestic industry to ensure the scope of the AD and CVD orders provides adequate relief to American companies and prevents evasion of the orders.  Additionally, the letter urges the Commerce Department to reevaluate data used in the administrative review of the CVD order. The original determinations used pricing data from the London Metals Exchange (LME) that did not accurately reflect the full price of aluminum in the global market.

Full text of the letter is below.

December 17, 2014

The Honorable Paul Piquado

Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance

U.S. Department of Commerce

14th Street & Constitution Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20230

 

Dear Assistant Secretary Piquado:

We are writing to express our strong support for the domestic aluminum extrusions industry and the importance of maintaining strong antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders against Chinese imports.  The AD and CVD orders have been critical to stopping the flood of unfairly traded imports, but the Department of Commerce’s recent decisions narrowing the scope of the orders and its use of skewed data in the current CVD administrative review could undermine the effectiveness of the orders. 

The AD and CVD orders against Chinese aluminum extrusions have stopped the flood of unfairly traded imports that brought the domestic sector to the brink of collapse in 2010.  By 2009, Chinese extrusions accounted for 19 percent of the U.S. market, but as a result of the orders, that market share dropped to less than one percent in 2013.  Without the duties on Chinese imports, the U.S. sector would face more mill closures and job losses. 

We understand that the scope of the orders has been challenging for the Department of Commerce to implement, but we ask that you work with the aluminum extrusions industry to develop a scope that is workable for American suppliers and the Department.  Specifically, we urge you to focus on the way you define “final finished products.”  The Department should not allow Chinese producers to evade the AD and CVD orders by adding an inconsequential component to a covered extruded aluminum product. 

In addition, we are concerned that the Department of Commerce used inaccurate data from the London Metals Exchange (LME) in their preliminary determination in the current administrative review of the CVD order.   Any LME pricing data must include the additional regional premiums consumers are required to pay to obtain the primary aluminum.  Without including the additional warehouse extraction fees, the LME data will not accurately reflect the price a purchaser would pay for the aluminum in the global market and will distort the outcome of the administrative review. 

We ask you to work with the domestic industry on both the scope and the LME data issues to ensure the domestic industry can compete on a level playing field. 

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