Like an air of déjà vu.
After Donald Trump, Joe Biden is preparing to launch into a trade war.
Its field of attack: aluminum.
In a statement released Tuesday, March 2, the US Department of Commerce accuses 18 countries, including Germany, of having made their aluminum plate exporters benefit from dumping and subsidies.
On April 15, the American International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent organization, will give its opinion on this matter.
If the latter comes to the same conclusions, "
anti-dumping and / or countervailing duties
" will be imposed on these countries.
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In addition to Germany, this concerns Italy, Spain, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Bahrain and Oman.
These countries are among the main aluminum producers in the world.
The taxes they are about to incur will come on top of the 10% U.S. tariffs imposed on most aluminum imports by the Trump administration under a national security law.
Germany, number one target
These accusations of dumping and subsidies follow an investigation launched by the Trump administration at the request of a dozen American aluminum alloy manufacturers who felt aggrieved.
Among them, Aleris Rolled Products, Arconic and Novelis Corporation.
Following its investigations, the US administration determined that these countries had dumped at a wide variety of rates: from 2.02% to 13.56% for Turkey, from 49.61% to 137.06% for Brazil or from 49.40% to 242.80% for Germany.
The latter country will be hit the hardest by any new tariffs as it is the largest supplier of aluminum sheet to the United States at $ 286.6 million.
Behind him, Bahrain ($ 241.2 million) is accused of dumping nearly 5% while exporters from India (123.3 million) are said to receive subsidies of between 5% and 35%.
Directly counter subsidies
In October, the Trump administration had already indicated that it had started to levy preliminary duties in this investigation.
The Biden administration may well take over, sending a strong signal to those who believed Trump's trade war was buried with his departure from the White House.
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In the field of aluminum in any case, the two administrations are on the same wavelength.
In its press release, the US Department of Commerce recalls that "
foreign companies which set the price of their products on the American market below the cost of production or below the prices charged on their national market are subject to anti-dumping duties
Likewise, foreign companies that receive "
" from their government
such as grants, loans, equity investments, tax breaks
are subject to countervailing duties aimed at "
directly countering these subsidies
At this point, the US administration has taken 559 orders on different imports "
to compensate US industries that are affected by unfair trade
," she recalls.