The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) made the industry’s voice heard during Aluminum Week held last week in Washington, D.C., with the Aluminum Association. AEC members called on the government to act on lingering circumvention and duty evasion issues related to certain Chinese aluminum extrusion imports and China’s overcapacity in primary aluminum production, according to a release. Members of the Council met with staff members of their elected officials and testified at the U.S. International Trade Commission hearing on “Aluminum: Competitive Conditions Affecting the U.S. Industry.”

AEC members met with staff from several senators’ offices to discuss key issues affecting the aluminum extrusion industry and to ask for help. One of those issues was a circumvention and evasion problem with the Zhongwang Group, according to the release.

As outlined in a recent Wall Street Journal article (Patterson, Miller, Yap; September 8, 2016), “Zhongwang has been taking incredible efforts to evade the U.S. trade laws by shipping products into the U.S. and Mexico,” reads the release. “The Zhongwang Group is comprised of a vast network of affiliates involved in the production, transportation, and storage of aluminum extrusions and rolled products. Mr. Zhongtian Liu uses the Group to shuttle aluminum products across borders, circumventing not just U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders on extruded aluminum, but also Chinese duties on exports of primary aluminum products. Their plan brings ‘pallets’ … into the U.S., re-melts them and then sells them as U.S. domestic extrusion products.”\

Jeff Henderson, AEC president, adds, “Commerce is close to deciding two important issues, one dealing with the pallets (scope) and another dealing with how Zhongwang is circumventing the extrusion cases by manipulating the metal to avoid duties.” Senate staffers were asked to help AEC by requesting a decision from Commerce on the issue, which has been languishing for a year.

Aluminum issues at the macro level were also discussed. Specifically, AEC members asked that the Senators contact the U.S. Trade Representative’s office urging them to take Century Aluminum’s World Trade Organization (WTO) case, which is related to China’s overcapacity in primary aluminum production and how that affects the global aluminum market.

In addition, other AEC members testified at the ITC 332 hearing, which had been requested by the Aluminum Association. The commission is tasked with studying the impacts of the Government of China’s policies in the aluminum industry and its impacts on the U.S.  Henderson, along with a number of other aluminum industry representatives, testified on China’s over-production of extrusions, circumvention and transshipment charges, pricing issues, and a myriad of other concerns.