Aluminum Association Calls on Biden Administration to Prioritize Enforcement in Ongoing Trade Negotiations
Policies that Recognize Aluminum’s Unique Market Position, Support Full Value Chain Best Way to Grow U.S. Jobs
The Aluminum Association, which represents the majority of aluminum production and jobs in the United States, today called on the Biden administration to redouble efforts to promote strong trade enforcement and eliminate massive industrial subsidies that drive excess capacity in the Chinese aluminum sector as it moves ahead on future negotiations around Section 232 tariffs. During a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai today, the association also asked the administration to push the European Commission to reimplement recently suspended tariffs on unfairly dumped Chinese flat-rolled aluminum.
In a joint statement announcing the replacement of Section 232 tariffs on aluminum imports from the European Union with a tariff rate quota (TRQ), the parties committed to closely monitor trade flows and find “solutions and address non-market excess capacity in the global steel and aluminum sectors.”
“While the Aluminum Association continues to disagree with a TRQ as a replacement for Section 232 tariffs, we were pleased to see the administration commit to tackling unfair trade together with our allies. One easy way to demonstrate this commitment would be for the European Commission to reimplement tariffs on unfairly traded Chinese aluminum,” said Ryan Olsen, vice president of market growth & development at the Aluminum Association. “Fully 97 percent of the more than 166,000 direct aluminum industry jobs in the U.S. are in mid-and-downstream production and processing. These American workers depend on an integrated supply chain that allows for fair trade among allies to meet demand and support growth. And while we fully support efforts to spur meaningful investment in domestic primary aluminum production, it is simply a fact that we cannot continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing and grow American aluminum jobs without open but rules-based trade with other market-oriented economies.”
The Biden administration should renew its focus on strong trade monitoring and enforcement; work with like-minded trading partners to address unfair Chinese trade practices; and continue making reforms to the Section 232 product exclusion process to avoid market manipulation. The administration should also pursue policies that increase the availability of recycled aluminum as inputs which will support increased U.S. aluminum production and domestic job growth along with significant environmental benefits. Finally, the administration should facilitate industrial access to affordable and reliable energy – the best way to spur sustainable investment in U.S. primary aluminum production and support international climate goals.
“Policymakers need to recognize the unique position of the U.S. aluminum industry in the global marketplace – including key differences between steel and aluminum. We need trade strategies that work for all U.S. aluminum companies rather than a few select market segments,” added Olsen. “That’s the path to sustainable growth and investment for the domestic industry, which makes some of the cleanest aluminum and aluminum products in the world.”
Aluminum made in North America is among the lowest carbon metal in the world. A recent life cycle assessment report found that an aluminum beverage can made with primary aluminum sourced in China would be almost twice as carbon intensive compared to the average North American can. And the U.S. industry has significantly reduced energy use, carbon emissions, water impacts and more since the 1990s – a time period when domestic aluminum demand grew around 25%.