The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) has joined Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement, a coalition of U.S. industry trade groups opposed to the automatic granting of market economy status (MES) for China at the end of 2016. AEC joins the Aluminum Association, American Iron & Steel Institute, Metals Service Center Institute, Forging Industry Association and more than 15 other groups in the coalition.

According to the AEC, China has claimed that it should be automatically accorded treatment as if it were a market economy after the 15th anniversary of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2016.  U.S. law requires that the Department of Commerce make an MES determination based on established criteria.

“While China has made a number of economic reforms in recent years, the Chinese economy remains fundamentally a non-market economic system dominated by the Communist Party and the state,” writes the AEC. “The party and the government today still play a major and direct role in many critical aspects of the economy, including the financial system, upstream resource and energy sectors, and through ownership and control of many strategic industries, including the aluminum extrusion industry.

“Chinese government ownership and financial support encourage and enable excess production despite weaker demand.  As supported production makes its way into the global marketplace – at unfair low prices – it displaces American production and jobs,” it continues.

AEC officials say the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry “provides a perfect example of Chinese nonmarket economy practices at work, adversely affecting domestic trade.”

The U.S. International Trade Commission imposed anti-dumping duties on China beginning in May 2011, as a result of a petition filed by the Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee, a coalition of U.S. producers of aluminum extrusions.

“Since the tariff orders went into effect, China continues to export their over-production of aluminum extrusions throughout the world,” says AEC president Jeff Henderson.
“Although the tariffs have helped the domestic extrusion industry recover, we will continue to fight for a fair and level playing field as long as China continues their nonmarket economy practices.”

He adds, “The Aluminum Extruders Council is pleased to lend support to and join voices with Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement. Granting China MES at the World Trade Organization will make it more difficult, if not impossible, to fight dumping by Chinese extruders, eroding or even erasing the gains we have made.”