International trade is vitally important to the health of the
aluminum industry. The members of the Aluminum Association are fully
committed to a fair and open world market for aluminum. The Association
strongly supports the initiation of global trade negotiations in the
World Trade Organization (WTO). It supports a comprehensive approach to
the phased-in reduction and elimination of tariffs over a multi-year
period, not to exceed 10 years. In addition, we believe that all
aluminum producing, importing, and exporting countries should
participate in the Round, and that no country be required to reduce or
eliminate its tariffs on a unilateral basis.
At an annual sum of more than $2 billion, the aluminum industry
is a major industrial user of electricity. Since the electrolytic
process is the only commercially proven method of producing aluminum,
the industry has on its own pursued opportunities to reduce its use of
electricity. In the last 50 years, the average amount of electricity
needed to make a pound of aluminum has been slashed from 12 kilowatt
hours to about 7 kilowatt hours.
Environment and Climate Change
From an environmental perspective, the aluminum industry also
is a leader in the preservation of natural resources. Total U.S.
aluminum industry supply in 2009 was 7.99 million metric tons,
28.3 percent of which was recycled aluminum. Of the 96.6 billion
aluminum cans shipped in the U.S. in 2009, 57.4 percent (55.5 billion)
were recycled. Almost 90 percent of automotive aluminum is reclaimed and
recycled. Recycling of aluminum saves energy and avoids some 95 percent
of the emissions associated with making new aluminum from ore
Further, since the industry has taken the initiative to voluntarily
reduce its process greenhouse gas emissions, it strongly supports
policies and programs that give credit for early action taken in
reducing greenhouse gases since 1990. The Industry also supports
efficient and economically sound emissions trading programs and
registries that recognize early emissions reductions.
The industry supports and participates in public/private partnerships
to spur pre-competitive research to reduce greenhouse gas process
emissions and to promote energy-saving aluminum product applications.
The industry supports a responsible approach to growth in demand for its
products and the consequent growth in activity and related emissions,
noting that solutions to the climate change issue involve both reducing
emissions at source and also over the full life cycle of the material or