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RPT-U.S. aluminum foil makers say Chinese imports 'devastated' industry

From Reuters - February 8, 2018

(Repeats to additional subscribers)

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - U.S. aluminum foil producers on Thursday described a systematic effort by Chinese competitors to force them out of the business, arguing before a U.S. trade panel that they need anti-dumping duties to survive and invest.

At a hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission, aluminum industry executives argued that preliminary anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties against Chinese foil should be locked in place to allow an industry devastated by unfairly low prices to regain its footing.

We cannot continue to reduce prices on our product offerings and remain sustainable, said Beatriz Landa, general manager of specialty products at Atlanta-based Novelis Corp.

Chinese producers and some of their customers argued at the hearing that U.S. foil producers were not being injured and that U.S. producers were incapable of producing the thinnest gauges of foil used in food and medical products packaging. They also said U.S. producers were ceding the market to invest instead in higher-margin aluminum products such as those used in automotive production.

Our success is not based on selling aluminum foil at low prices, said Mo Xinda, a director at Chinas Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association.

Mo said the industrys development in China was geared mainly for Chinas domestic needs and that some U.S. customers require chinas aluminum foil because U.S. mills cannot satisfy their needs.

The commission is expected to rule on whether U.S. producers were injured by Chinese imports in April, a decision that would uphold or reject Commerce Departments duties.

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