Aluminum Companies Sue US Department of Commerce Over Anti-Dumping Duties

A group of U.S. aluminum companies has filed a complaint against the U.S. Department of Commerce challenging an anti-dumping duty order on aluminum foil from Turkey, which can be used for a number of architectural building and façade projects, published on November 12, 2021.

On January 7, a nonconfidential complaint was filed against the the Court of International Trade by the Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group and its individual members of Granges Americas Inc., JW Aluminum Company and Novelis Corporation. These companies provide aluminum used in facades, roofing, buildings and other construction materials and products, particularly JW Aluminum and Novelis.

Following the U.S. International Trade Commission’s issuance of its final unanimous affirmative injury determination, the United States Department of Commerce published an anti-dumping duty order on imports of certain aluminum foil from Turkey.

The Department of Commerce chose a mandatory respondent for examination in its

anti-dumping investigation: Assan Aluminyum Sanayi Ve Ticaret, including its affiliate Kibar Dis Ticaret.

According to the complaint, in the Department of Commerce’s final determination, it allowed Assan’s net hedging related gains to “offset the company’s cost of manufacture… the Department stated that ‘Assan provided specific record evidence and demonstrated that the net hedging gains were directly associated with the purchases of its aluminum material inputs.’”

The complaint also explains the Department of Commerce stated Assan’s audited financial statement’s footnotes read, ” the company enters into commodity contracts to mitigate its risk on aluminum price fluctuations (i.e., raw material inputs, not finished goods).”

The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group is challenging the Department of Commerce’s findings, stating that they are not supported by substantial evidence.

Commerce allowed Assan’s net hedging-related gains to offset the company’s cost of manufacturing. Commerce then found that Assan provided evidence that shows the gains were directly associated with the purchases of its aluminum material inputs, and hedging activities and gains were related to Assan’s aluminum purchases, according to the documents.

However, the aluminum association group challenged these statements, explaining that the hedging contracts concerned metal premium purchases and sales, not input materials. It added that Assan entered the contracts after purchasing raw materials.

The documents state, “Assan does not use the hedging contracts to actually purchase anything… indicating the hedging contracts are merely for risk management of Assan’s finances.”

On January 12, the case had been assigned to Judge Stephen Alexander Vaden. A final version of the complaint was filed on January 13 and was served to the United States Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce.

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