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May 11, 2015

Chinese Curtain Wall Tariff Update

AGMA is part of a Curtain Wall Coalition working with both Customs Headquarters and the ports to ensure that Chinese imports do not circumvent tariffs imposed on imported Chinese aluminum. Chinese aluminum is currently subsidized and makes up a large portion of imported curtain wall systems.

More specifically, the Coalition is fighting:
Transshipment (where exporters move curtain wall units through a third country such as Malaysia and have them relabeled as “Made in Malaysia”)
Undervaluation (where an importer tries to cheat on its tariff bill by declaring a too-low value for its curtain wall units)
Mislabeling (where an importer claims that its curtain wall units contain a type of aluminum that isn’t subject to the tariffs) The Coalition understands that Customs recently shut down a facility in Mexico that was taking in Chinese curtain wall and relabeling it “Made in Mexico” to circumvent the tariff.

It should be noted that the US Commerce Department recalculates the tariffs in trade remedy cases annually. The Commerce Department, in the course of the current annual review of the aluminum extrusion tariffs, is auditing a big curtain wall exporter (Jangho) and, in its audit, is considering an allegation that the glass in curtain wall units is subsidized. If the Commerce Dept. decides to penalize Jangho for glass subsidies, as well as aluminum subsidies, we very well may see the tariffs increase next year.

In other news, the Coalition’s “big” Court of Appeals case ended on April 24th, 2015. The Court refused the Chinese companies’ request for a re-hearing and issued its final order, affirming that curtain wall units are subject to the tariffs.