On The Hill

Trade Update (December 14)

Dec 17, 2018 | SHARE  
Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China

 The Trump administration initiated an investigation into imports of common alloy aluminum sheet (CAAS) from China in 2017. It was the first antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) trade case self-initiated by the US government since 1985. On Friday (Dec 7), the US International Trade Commission (USITC) determined that CAAS from China was “subsidized and sold in the US at less than fair value,” which materially injured the US industry.[1] Chinese CAAS was sold in the US at 49.85% – 59.72% less than fair value and companies received subsidies at rates ranging from 46.48% to 116.49%. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross applauded the ITC’s affirmative decision and Commerce will issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders.[2]



US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

 On Monday (Dec 10), the US Chamber of Commerce announced its support of the USMCA. President and CEO of the Chamber, Thomas J Donohue, published an article on the Chamber website in which he vowed to “work with the administration and other stakeholders to address a handful of outstanding issues and secure approval of the USMCA in Congress.” However, he stated the first step will be lifting the steel and aluminum import tariffs imposed on Canada and Mexico as those tariffs on trade partners resulted in “$15 billion in counter-tariffs on US agricultural and manufactured goods.” Additionally, Donohue urged President Trump not to terminate NAFTA in order to pressure Congress to agree to the USMCA. Such action, the Chamber said, would be unproductive, unnecessary, and without a NAFTA “successor agreement could jeopardize 1.8 million jobs.”[3]


This week, Canada presented the USMCA text to Parliament, which initiates the formal process before it can be voted on. Members of Parliament have 21 days before they can hold debates, present a final implementation bill, or vote.[4]



116th Congress

The 116th Congress will be sworn into office on January 3, 2019. Below is a list of relevant committees in the House and Senate and the appointed chairman and ranking members:

House Ways & Means Committee:

Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA-01)

Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX-08)


Senate Finance Committee:

Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) [5]




[1] “Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China Injures U.S. Industry, Says USITC.” US International Trade Commission, 7 Dec 2018. https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2018/er1207ll1041.htm


[2] “U.S. Secretary of Commerce Applauds ITC Self-Initiation Final Determination.” US Department of Commerce, 10 Dec 2018. https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2018/12/us-secretary-commerce-applauds-itc-self-initiation-final-determination


[3] Thomas J. Donohue. “Next Steps for North American Trade.” US Chamber of Commerce, 10 Dec 2018. https://www.uschamber.com/series/above-the-fold/next-steps-north-american-trade


[4] “Policy on Tabling of Treaties in Parliament.” Global Affairs Canada. http://www.treaty-accord.gc.ca/procedures.aspx?lang=eng


[5] “House, Senate Democrats Identify Slate of Committee Leaders for New Congress.” Roll Call, 12 Dec 2018. https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/house-senate-democrats-release-committee-leadership-roster


The Week Ahead

For the main events of the next week and more, go straight to the key events on the house.gov website.

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The Week Ahead

For the main events of the next week and more, go straight to the key events on the senate.gov website.

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