AAM Urges Commerce Department to Figure Currency into Pending Trade Case on Aluminum Parts

Mon, 04/19/2010

Washington, D.C. April 19, 2010 — Last month, domestic U.S. aluminum producers and their workers filed a countervailing duty petition with the Department of Commerce alleging that hundreds of millions of dollars in imported aluminum parts from China, including parts for windows, solar technology, machine parts and automotive, have been unfairly subsidized by  China’s policy of currency undervaluation. The petition cited significant and low-priced imports from China during 2007–2009 and an unprecedented expansion of imports from China during 2009.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) believes this is an important case because the Department of Commerce must initiate an investigation into China’s ongoing currency manipulation. AAM Executive Director Scott Paul has written a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke that discusses the urgency of the case, which faces a decision next week.

Said Paul, “There is no doubt that the U.S. manufacturing sector is struggling against unfair foreign competition, particularly against injurious and low-priced imports from China. Beijing’s practice of undervaluing its currency is one of the ways in which China provides a significant subsidy to its exporters. The currency issue is not only an urgent problem, but it’s one that the international community agrees is causing terrible market distortions. Until China revalues its currency, both U.S. and foreign producers will continue to lose market share.”

Last month, the United Steelworkers (USW) and the U.S. Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee, a coalition of domestic manufacturers of aluminum extrusions, filed their countervailing duty petition with the Department of Commerce. The USW represents thousands of aluminum workers in the United States and the committee accounts for more than 60 percent of production in the U.S. aluminum extrusions industry. In addition to citing low-priced imports, the petition discusses the dramatic and subsidized expansion of production capacity in China over the past few years, as well as the Chinese industry’s plans to add even more capacity in the near future. The petition also included a detailed economic study on why currency undervaluation is a specific subsidy.

Commerce will determine on April 20 whether to initiate a countervailing duty investigation on aluminum extrusions from China.

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