Chinese curtainwall is subject to U.S. tariffs on aluminum extrusions imported from China. That’s the decision upheld by the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) on December 11, 2017. The decision marked the potential end of years-long litigation between American and Chinese curtainwall companies.
In the latest case, Shenyang Yuanda Aluminum Industry Engineering Co., Yuanda USA Corp., Jangho Curtain Wall Americas Co., Permasteelisa North America Corp., Permasteelisa South China Factory and Permasteelisa Hong Kong Ltd., challenged the U.S. Department of Commerce’s scope determination for the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on aluminum extrusions from China. The scope ruling determined that Yuanda’s unitized curtainwall, was within the scope of the AD/CVD orders.
The CIT upheld the department’s determination. The ruling reads that “the orders cover, in pertinent part, ‘aluminum extrusions’ such as ‘parts’ for ‘curtainwalls’ to be ‘assembled after importation.’”
In previous litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sustained a separate commerce scope determination that curtainwall units are parts of curtainwalls.
In the most recent litigation, the Chinese companies argued that curtainwall units imported under a supply contract or a complete curtainwall were partially assembled “subassemblies” of a complete curtainwall, and therefore excluded from the orders as a finished goods kit. The orders define a finished goods kit as a packaged combination of parts that contains, at the time of importation, all the necessary parts to fully assemble a final finished good and requires no further finishing or fabrication. The order excludes subassemblies provided that they are a finished good or “finished goods kit” requiring no further fabrication.
“Commerce determined that Yuanda’s entries failed the subassemblies test because Yuanda’s own documents show that the individual curtainwall units do not contain all parts necessary to install them,” reads the decision.
The Chinese companies have 60 days from the decision to file an appeal.
“If they appealed again we’d argue again. We’re confident of success of course because we’ve won every step of the way so far,” says David Spooner, partner at law firm Barnes & Thornburg.
Spooner represented American curtainwall companies Architectural Glass & Aluminum Co., Walters & Wolf and Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems Inc.
“Folks should get the message now that Chinese curtainwall is subject to the tariff,” he says. “My clients worked very hard to protect not only themselves, but curtainwall companies across the U.S. from unfair practices. They deserve credit for shouldering the burden.”
John D’Amario, Northwest USA sales manager of the America division of Yuanda USA Corp. told USGNN.com™ that the Chinese companies could file an appeal.
“This ruling merely impacts a few of our completed projects from several years ago and has no impact on our current or future U.S. business,” he says. “Nonetheless, we will likely file an appeal for no other reason than to humorously watch the Curtain Wall Coalition post propaganda on their website and plead for donations to continually cover their attorney fees. There are many curtainwall contractors, general contractors, and developers that are strongly against this sort of protectionism on the part of the CWC. I can’t really blame them for trying to hang on, but in today’s global progressive world, it’s like Custer’s Last Stand.”