The U.S. Department of Commerce has determined preliminarily that extruded aluminum products made from aluminum previously extruded in China and then exported from Vietnam constitute merchandise completed or assembled in other foreign countries and therefore circumvent antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on aluminum extrusions from China. This applies regardless of producer, exporter or importer.
“We have preliminarily determined to apply these circumvention rulings to inquiry merchandise regardless of producer, exporter, or importer, based on evidence provided by the petitioner and adverse facts available,” reads the determination.
In light of its preliminary finding of circumvention, Commerce is considering whether to require that importers and exporters of certain aluminum extrusions claiming that their merchandise is not subject to the AD/CVD orders, certify that their aluminum extrusions are made from aluminum not previously extruded in China. Public comment on this consideration and the preliminary determination are open until June 17, 2019.
Commerce initiated the anti-circumvention inquiry regarding certain aluminum extrusions from Vietnam by China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. and its affiliates in March 2018 based on a request from the Aluminum Extruders Council’s (AEC) Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee (AEFTC).
According to AEC, following the department’s determinations in December 2016 and June 2017 that Zhongwang’s pallets were subject to the AD/CVD orders, Zhongwang shipped substantial quantities of these pallets to its affiliate in Vietnam, Global Vietnam Aluminum Co. (GVA) to continue to circumvent and evade the orders.
Zhongwang did not respond to the anti-circumvention questionnaire issued by Commerce.
This preliminary determination applied beginning May 17, 2019. However, between May 25, 2018 and July 5, 2018, the department received comments and rebuttal comments from the AEFTC and East Asia Aluminum Ltd.
Commerce extended its final determination deadline until June 7, 2019 due to the partial federal government shutdown.
In the meantime, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of these aluminum products under the inquiry entered or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption on or after March 5, 2018, the date of the inquiry initiation. Commerce will also instruct CBP to require a cash deposit of estimated duties at the rate applicable to the exporter on all unliquidated entries of inquiry merchandise entered or withdrawn from a warehouse on or after March 5, 2018.
“This is a key victory for the domestic industry,” said AEC president Jeff Henderson in a statement. “China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. and other producers have continued to engage in a concerted effort to circumvent the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum extrusions. This decision is a critical step forward in addressing blatant attempts to evade duties through transshipment and circumvention.”
China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. had not responded to USGNN™’s request for comment as of press time.