U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the U.S. will collect tariffs on  $1.96 billion worth of aluminum sheet from 18 countries after determining the goods were unfairly dumped here, the broadest trade enforcement action by the agency in more than two decades.

Collection of the duties on imports from nations including Germany, Bahrain and Oman will go into effect immediately, even though the department’s determination was preliminary, Ross said. The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to make a final determination in February 2021, he said.

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“This is the largest and most far-reaching case that our department has brought in more than 20 years,” Ross said Friday morning during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.

Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey were also affected.

The money that the U.S. is now moving to collect comes from cash deposits already put down by importers. If the commission rules next year that the countries weren’t unfairly dumping aluminum products, the cash deposits will be returned.

China is not on the list, Ross said, because the department already collects tariffs on Beijing’s aluminum products. That levy has pushed excess Chinese output into other markets, displacing production in those countries and leading their producers to flood the U.S. with goods priced low enough to undercut American manufacturers.

“It’s a very complicated matter,” Ross said, but “there’s a lot of illegal dumping in the U.S., and that’s what we’re clamping down on.”

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