Wauconda, Illinois - The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) will be addressing a number of hot topics at the upcoming 2016 Management Conference, including aluminum extrusion fair trade. Recently AEC efforts in fair trade have taken a step into the spotlight with stories from the Wall Street Journal outlining nonmarket economy trade practices by some Chinese aluminum producers. The Management Conference is part of Aluminum Week, a joint effort by AEC and The Aluminum Association, taking place Monday, September 26 through Thursday, September 28 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC.
Among the speakers at the AEC Management Conference will be Alan Price, Partner with Wiley Rein, AEC’s law firm handling the China aluminum extrusion imports trade case. Price is chair of the firm’s International Trade Practice and heads the antidumping and countervailing duty practice. Price is speaking the morning of Tuesday, September 27 where he will outline the latest developments in China’s attempt to become recognized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a market-based economy, and he will explain the ramifications for the aluminum extrusion industry, and manufacturing in general, with his keynote address, “China Market Economy Status and the WTO.” Later in the day, Price will be joined by Jesse Gary, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Century Aluminum, for a Focus Session titled “China Market Economy Status” that will delve deeper into the issue and explain the government’s position on the case. Gary will lend his perspective from one of North America’s aluminum producers that have been adversely affected by China’s unfair trade practices.
The AEC Management Conference includes afternoon Focus Sessions on Tuesday that address a number of topics important to the aluminum extrusion industry. This year, a full track is devoted to fair trade, which also features an update on the China aluminum extrusion imports trade case by Robert DeFrancesco, Partner at Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice and the lead attorney for the case. The session will cover scope and circumvention issues, the sunset review of the aluminum extrusion tariffs case and more. The Fair Trade Track will also include a session on the aluminum extrusion curtainwall case, led by David Spooner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, lead attorney for the case. The session will bring attention to the aluminum curtainwall scope case related to Chinese aluminum extrusion imports and provide more information on the threat, with additional perspectives provided by AEC Extruder Members Bennett McEvoy, V.P. of Sales at Western Extrusions Corp. in Dallas, Texas and Jason Weber, Director of Business Development for Energy and Industrial Products at Sapa Extrusion North America. Other Focus Session tracks cover Industry Intelligence featuring topics related to applications for extrusions and survey data, and Education & Preparation featuring topics related to business excellence, including safety and process optimization.
Wednesday morning, September 28, features a joint AEC and Aluminum Association General Session, which will begin with an aluminum industry insights panel discussion on market trends and industry performance. Senior leaders within the industry will share their insights, including Rick Merluzzi, CEO of Metal Exchange Corp.; Gervais Jacques, Chief Commercial Officer of Rio Tinto Aluminium; Marco Palmieri, President of Novelis North America; Mark Vrablec, President of Alcoa Aerospace & Automotive Products. Then, Michael Steep, SVP of Global Business Operations at PARC, a Xerox Company, will discuss how disruptive technologies are forcing and inspiring businesses to rethink current models. Steep is a disruptive innovation expert who will reveal the process companies use to transform disruptive technology into exponential opportunities. An AEC Town Hall session led by AEC Chairman Matt McMahon, President of Pries Enterprises in Independence, Iowa and Council President Jeff Henderson closes out the program. AEC members will participate in an interactive discussion centered on critical issues that affect the Council and its members, including fair trade, and what can be done to ensure a strong future for the North American extrusion industry.
Following the Conference on Thursday, September 29, members of the aluminum industry will attend and provide testimony at a hearing of the International Trade Commission (ITC), which launched an investigation early this year to examine the U.S. aluminum industry and global aluminum trade. “This is where the industry will make the case to the ITC on just how the actions of Zhongwang and the Chinese government policies are affecting our businesses,” said Jeff Henderson, AEC President.
In addition, AEC members will be visiting the offices of their elected officials on Thursday to share important information and discuss general aluminum industry and manufacturing issues. Henderson went on to explain, “We hope to make it clear to our government that we are serious about saving the U.S. aluminum industry and protecting American jobs.”