Commerce Department Issues a Preliminary Ruling on Dumped Chinese Aluminum

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

The Commerce Department today found that imports of aluminum foil from China are subsidized. Reuters says:

U.S. aluminum foil producers had filed petitions with the U.S. government accusing Chinese producers of receiving subsidies and of "dumping" the product in the United States market, the first such case since President Donald Trump took office.

This preliminary ruling is gonna result in countervailing duties ranging from 16.56 percent to 80.97 percent – the Chinese companies that ignored the Commerce probe or gave incorrect information facing duties on the higher end. The plaintiffs were pleased with this result.

China has very quickly become the world’s leading producers of aluminum (In 2000, it accounted for 11 percent of global production; today, it accounts for more than half). Its industry did that not only with moxie and pluck, but an absolute load of government support.

(Kinda makes the arguments of free trade acolytes warning your Coors Light may cost another dime disingenuous – there’s precious little market-based in the Chinese aluminum industry.)  

Anyway, so much aluminum has flooded in recently that we’re down to only a handful of smelters in the entire country – and only one (in Kentucky) makes the high-purity aluminum that can be used in military applications.

The Trump administration is currently undertaking Section 232 investigations into imports of aluminum and steel, to determine if the increasingly one-sided trade flow of these commodities is harmful to national security. If it determines those trade flows are harmful, President Donald Trump could institute a slew of corrective measures, which would make this aluminum foil case small potatoes in comparison.

Will they? Won’t they? We think they should. Businesses and workers alike say the uncertainty has been painful. We’re watching closely to see what the administration does.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: From Alliance for American Manufacturing, Allied Approaches

Union Matters

The Big Drip

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work