Portman, Brown Urge Commerce Department to Protect Ohio Curtain Wall Producers in Butler & Cuyahoga Counties

June 10, 2013 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent a letter to the Department of Commerce (DOC) in favor of protecting Ohio curtain-wall producers and job-creators, such as Harmon in Butler and Cuyahoga Counties and Midwest Curtain Walls in Cleveland, as China seeks to increase curtain wall unit exports to the United States by circumventing existing trade rules. 

In May 2011, the DOC placed anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) tariffs on aluminum extrusions and semi-finished products made of aluminum extrusions due to violations of trade laws.  Since then, the Chinese curtain wall producers have tried to avoid paying those duties.  Although two separate rulings have found that curtain wall units and other parts of curtain walls are indeed subject to existing remedies, a Chinese producer of curtain walls filed a petition with the DOC in March 2013 effectively asking for a reversal of its earlier rulings. 

In the letter, the Ohio Senators urge the DOC “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.”  They add, “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.”   

The full text of the letter is below.  Read a signed copy here.

June 7, 2013

The Honorable Rebecca M. Blank
Acting Secretary of Commerce
United States Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20230

Dear Acting Secretary Blank:

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.