The subject of tariffs on Chinese curtainwall units is once again in the news. In March, the Department of Commerce rejected Chinese curtainwall producer Yuanda’s claims in a petition that “complete and finished curtain wall units” were outside the scope of the government’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs. Yuanda had argued that the “complete and finished curtain wall units” described in its scope petition were different products than the products outlined in the domestic curtainwall manufacturers’ original scope petition.
Commerce rebuffed Yuanda’s claims and found that the company’s curtainwall units are in fact covered by the trade remedy tariffs, marking the third time that the Commerce Department has ruled that curtainwall units are covered by the China aluminum “unfair trade” tariffs.
Yuanda, however, has decided to keep the dialogue going.
The company, a combination of the importer Yuanda USA Corp. and foreign exporter/producer Shenyang Yuanda Aluminum Industry Engineering Co. Ltd., along with Permasteelisa, filed suit at the Court of International Trade challenging the recent ruling.
While John D’Amario, Northwest USA sales manager – America division, for Yuanda USA Corp. in Alameda, Calif., says he could not divulge their next move, he told USGNN.com™ that “This recent ruling merely extends the conflict and will cost the warlords more money. It’s like trying to fill a bucket with water when the bucket has holes in it. Don’t they know there’s a drought in California?”
In 2012, the tariffs were confirmed to include curtainwalls by the request of a scope inquiry filed by The Northern California Glass Management Association that August. In December of 2012, the Department issued its ruling, which was met with backlash by some companies.
Yuanda and Jangho had previously challenged the Commerce Department’s first scope ruling at the Court of International Trade. In January 2014, the Court ruled in favor of U.S. curtainwall companies, affirming Commerce’s decision that curtainwall units are covered by Commerce’s China unfair trade tariffs. On March 25, Yuanda and Jangho appealed this Court of International Trade decision to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, one step below the Supreme Court. Court documents note that it is appealing that “curtain wall units that are exported from China are subject to the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum extrusions.”
According to attorney David Spooner of the law firm Squire Sanders, which represents the Curtainwall Coalition, which includes Walters & Wolf, Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems Inc., and Architectural Glass & Aluminum Co., the Court of Appeals litigation is just getting started; parties have filed preliminary paperwork, but have not yet filed case briefs. He does expect the Commerce Department to stand put upon Yuanda’s most recent attempt to combat the tariffs.
“Clearly, curtainwall units are covered by the China unfair trade tariffs,” says Spooner. “The U.S. Government and the Federal Courts have ruled time and time again that curtain wall units are subject to high import tariffs. We’re confident that they will continue to do so.”
Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for updates as they are made available.