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Aluminum Association Disappointed in Administration Decision to Place Tariffs on Vital Trading Partners

May 31, 2018

ARLINGTON, VA – Heidi Brock, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association, issued the following statement today in response to the administration’s decision to end Section 232 aluminum tariff exemptions for Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

“The Aluminum Association was disappointed by today’s announcement that expands Section 232 aluminum tariffs to additional vital trading partner countries. The association, which represents the majority of aluminum production and jobs in the United States, believes that no country that operates as a market economy should be subject to unnecessary and disruptive tariffs or quotas. The administration’s trade remedies should specifically target structural aluminum overcapacity in China, which is caused by rampant, illegal government subsidies in that country. Tackling overcapacity is the best way for the aluminum industry to thrive in the U.S., addressing the national security concerns identified by the Commerce Department in its Section 232 investigation.” 

She added: “Today’s action does little to address the China challenge while potentially alienating allies and disrupting supply chains that more than 97 percent of U.S. aluminum industry jobs rely upon. During a time of record demand for aluminum in the United States, it is critical that aluminum producers across the value chain have a steady and reliable source of supply. While this is an unfortunate outcome, the Aluminum Association will continue its dialogue with the administration on our shared goal of a healthy and sustainable U.S. aluminum industry.”

The Aluminum Association is calling on the Trump administration to initiate immediate, government-to-government negotiations with China to address structural overcapacity. Excess capacity alone in China last year totaled 11 million metric tons of primary aluminum -- 40 percent of the rest of the world’s total production of 27.5 million metric tons. And imports of semi-fabricated aluminum to the U.S. from China have spiked some 230 percent since 2012. All of this is driving uncertainty in the global aluminum market and chilling investment here at home during a time of historic aluminum demand. 

Next week, the Aluminum Association will participate in a summit with industry executives, government officials and global aluminum association partners to discuss a “roadmap” for governmental multilateral action in the aluminum market. The meeting will take place in Montreal June 3 – 4 in advance of the G7 meeting later that week. In April, the association released a joint letter with its counterparts in Europe, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Mexico urging G20 leaders to enact a global forum on aluminum excess capacity. 

To learn more about the association’s efforts, visit www.aluminum.org/TimeforAction.

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About the Aluminum Association
The Aluminum Association represents aluminum production and jobs in the United States, ranging from primary production to value added products to recycling, as well as suppliers to the industry. The Association is the industry’s leading voice, providing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel-efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics.  In the U.S., the aluminum industry creates $174 billion in economic activity. For more information visit http://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.

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