ARLINGTON, VA – Heidi Brock, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association issued the following statement today in response to the Trump administration’s decision to extend the deadline for Section 232 tariff exemptions on certain aluminum imports from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
“The Aluminum Association views the decision to extend the tariff exemption deadline for our vital trading partners beyond May 1st as a positive first step. But clearly more must be done to provide certainty to the market. We continue to call for permanent, quota-free exemptions from the Section 232 tariffs for all countries designated as market economies. The association’s members, which represent the vast majority of aluminum production and jobs in the United States, recognize that the industry today is globally interdependent. We believe that trade remedies should focus on structural aluminum overcapacity in China as the best way to ensure a healthy domestic industry and address national security concerns identified by the Commerce Department.”
She added: “Constraining aluminum supply from trading partners who play by the rules could increase incentives for China to ramp up its illegally subsidized overcapacity by making Chinese imports more competitive. This is exactly the opposite of what we, and the White House, want to achieve. President Trump has a great deal of discretion and flexibility in how the Section 232 tariffs are ultimately implemented. He has the authority to adjust the scope, the countries impacted, the nature of the remedy and the period of time the restrictions are in place. The Aluminum Association looks forward to working with the administration to monitor market conditions and ensure that the approach meets our shared goal of a robust and thriving U.S. aluminum industry.”
In a recent letter to the president and op-ed on CNBC.com, Brock noted that that the U.S. aluminum industry relies heavily on imported metal to meet growing demand. Even at full capacity, the U.S. aluminum industry can produce less than half of all the primary aluminum that it uses each year. Disrupting supply chains threatens record demand for aluminum and the 97 percent of U.S. aluminum industry jobs in mid-and-downstream processing.
“Efforts to strengthen U.S. aluminum will only succeed if we all recognize the industry's global interdependence and maintain a laser-like focus on the real problem: structural overcapacity in China,” she wrote in the op-ed.
The Aluminum Association has called for immediate government-to-government negotiations with China to address the trade distorting practices that drive aluminum overcapacity. To learn more, visit www.aluminum.org/TimeforAction.
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.