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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The United States on Friday imposed steep new tariffs on nearly $2 billion in aluminum from 18 countries the Commerce Department accuses of dumping into the American market, including Germany, Spain and Brazil.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said China was not on the list but is partially responsible for the flood of aluminum sheet imports that could undermine domestic producers.

“What’s really been happening, actually, is Chinese excess capacity has been dumped into other markets. That, in turn, displaces production which gets dumped here,” Ross said on Fox Business Network.

“It’s a very complicated setup but the net effect is a lot of dumping in the US, and that’s what we’re clamping down on.”

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said excess aluminum production from China led other countries to dump the product into the US market US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said excess aluminum production from China led other countries to dump the product into the US market Photo: AFP / –

Germany and Brazil face the steepest tariffs of close to 353 percent and 137 percent, respectively. The US imported nearly $287 million of the product from Germany last year, and $97 million from Brazil.

The preliminary decision means the US will immediately begin collecting the tariffs from importers to compensate for the price of aluminum sheeting sold below the cost of production, or helped by unfair subsidies, according to a Commerce Department statement.

The department could overturn the decision in late February, which is also subject to review by the US International Trade Commission. Their final decision is scheduled for April 5, 2021.

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.

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