The Aluminum Association released the following statement from Lauren Wilk, the Aluminum Association’s vice president for policy, in response the recently signed “phase one” trade agreement between the United States and China:
“We congratulate President Trump and his administration on this important first step toward a more balanced trading relationship between the U.S. and China. As the parties move to the next phase of negotiations, we strongly urge negotiators to focus on addressing the unfairly subsidized overcapacity that is hurting U.S. aluminum producers – and impacting the global aluminum market. A 2019 study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) documented tens of billions of dollars in government state subsidies to aluminum firms over a five-year period, mainly to a handful of aluminum-producing companies in China. It is essential to the long-term health of domestic aluminum manufacturers that China end the structural subsidies that make it impossible for U.S. and global aluminum producers to compete on a level playing field. We were encouraged by the recent announcement by the U.S., European and Japanese governments pursuing strengthened World Trade Organization (WTO) rules addressing industrial subsidies. The Trump administration has a tremendous opportunity to support more than 160,000 American aluminum workers by pursuing bilateral and multilateral agreements to rein in unfair activity in China.”
Last year, the administration committed to address “how market-distorting forces, including subsidies and state-owned enterprises, can lead to excess capacity” as part of ongoing trade negotiations with China . While targeted trade enforcement activity, including successful antidumping and countervailing duty cases, have reduced imports of Chinese aluminum into the U.S. in recent years, overcapacity continues to grow – and, unfortunately, to penetrate other foreign markets. Over the past five years, aluminum overcapacity in China has grown by 60 percent and increasingly that metal is being exported to third party countries, further distorting global markets. Research firm CRU estimates that China will export more than 3.4 million tons of semi-fabricated aluminum in 2020, fully 3.5 times U.S. aluminum production.
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 supports $174 billion in economic activity and nearly 700,000 jobs. For more information visit https://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.