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Letter to Cameron Kerry, Acting Secretary of Commerce - Reject China's Bid to Undermine U.S. Manufacturers of Curtain Wall

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has written a letter to the Commerce Department urging the agency to reject a move by Chinese companies that could undermine U.S. manufacturers of curtain wall. In the past, Chinese companies producing curtain wall have been subject to anti-dumping duties but now the same companies have filed a petition to lift the duties. Such a move, if granted by the Commerce Department, could harm Pennsylvania jobs and the economy by allowing artificially priced products to undermine the state's producers.

"Over and over again China has skirted international trade laws and the result has been a loss of American jobs," Senator Casey said. "The Department of Commerce shouldn't allow Chinese manufacturers to undercut Pennsylvania's businesses and workers. I'm calling on the agency to reject China's bid to dump artificially priced products into the U.S. market."

A curtain wall unit is a part of an aluminum and glass system -- comprised of several individual units -- that covers the outside façade of a building. While the Department placed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on aluminum extrusions and semi-finished products made of aluminum extrusions in May 2011, Chinese curtain wall producers tried to avoid paying those duties.

In August 2012, a coalition of U.S. curtain wall producers asked the Department to affirm that curtain wall units are subject to the existing May 2011 order on aluminum extrusions. On November 30, 2012, the Department ruled that curtain wall units and other parts of curtain walls are indeed subject to those existing remedies. However, in late March 2013, a Chinese producer of curtain walls filed a petition with the Department effectively asking the Department for a reversal of its earlier rulings.

The text of the letter to Secretary Kerry can be found below:

The Honorable Cameron F. Kerry

Acting Secretary of Commerce

United States Department of Commerce

Dear Acting Secretary Kerry:

We are writing to express our concern with a recent decision by the Department of Commerce to accept for a formal scope inquiry a petition filed by a foreign producer of "curtain walls." That petition, if successful, would have the effect of reversing two recent curtain wall scope rulings made by the Department.

A curtain wall unit is a part of a curtain wall. A curtain wall is an aluminum and glass system -- comprised of several individual units -- that covers the outside façade of a building. While the Department placed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on aluminum extrusions and semi-finished products made of aluminum extrusions in May 2011, Chinese curtain wall producers tried to avoid paying those duties.

In August 2012, a coalition of U.S. curtain wall producers asked the Department to affirm that curtain wall units are subject to the existing May 2011 order on aluminum extrusions. On November 30, 2012, the Department ruled that curtain wall units and other parts of curtain walls are indeed subject to those existing remedies. However, in late March 2013, a Chinese producer of curtain walls filed a petition with the Department effectively asking the Department for a reversal of its earlier rulings.

We ask that the Department give fair and full consideration of the domestic curtain wall producers' opposition to this recently filed petition. We urge you to make it clear -- consistent with the Department's two prior rulings -- that curtain wall units are subject to the trade remedies imposed by the existing order on aluminum extrusions. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice is currently supporting this same position as a defendant in a related appeal filed by the same Chinese producer in the Court of International Trade.

There is no clear reason for the Department to reverse itself in the face of pressure from Chinese exporters of dumped and subsidized goods. As China seeks to increase curtain wall unit exports to the United States by evading trade rules, it is critical we enforce our nation's trade laws to prevent harm to American manufacturers and their hardworking employees.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator

Rob Portman

United States Senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

Amy Klobuchar

United States Senator

Barbara Boxer

United States Senator


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