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A worker checks aluminium rolls at a warehouse inside an industrial park in Binzhou, China.

China Daily CDIC/Reuters

The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday it made a final determination that American producers were being harmed by imports of common alloy aluminum sheet products from China, a finding that locks in duties on the products.

The ITC determination means that duties ranging from 96.3 per cent to 176.2 per cent previously announced by the U.S. Commerce Department would be put in place for five years.

The department said last month the products were being subsidized and dumped in the U.S. market.

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The decision marked the first time that final duties were issued in a trade remedy case initiated by the U.S. government since 1985. Usually, trade cases are launched based on a complaint from a U.S. producer or group of producers.

The Trump administration has promised a more aggressive approach to trade enforcement by having the department launch more anti-dumping and antisubsidy cases on behalf of private industry.

In 2017, imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China were valued at an estimated $900 million. The flat-rolled product is used in transportation, building and construction, infrastructure, electrical and marine applications.

U.S. aluminum industry firms, including Aleris Corp, Arconic Inc and Constellium NV, testified in the case last year about what they termed a surge in “low-priced, unfairly traded imports.”

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