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Aluminum CEOs: Open North American Trade Vital for U.S. Industry, Jobs

Senior U.S. Aluminum Executives Support Continued Section 232 Exemption for Canada

More than 15 CEOs and other senior executives representing the entire aluminum industry value chain in the United States today sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer calling for continued quota-free Section 232 tariff exemptions for aluminum in North America. Last year, the Trump administration wisely removed these tariffs amidst U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) negotiations. The USMCA is slated to enter into force on July 1. Fully 97 percent of U.S. aluminum industry jobs are in mid-and-downstream production and processing. These jobs depend on a mix of domestic and imported primary aluminum, including from countries like Canada, to meet demand and support U.S. aluminum jobs. 
The letter comes after recent claims of a “surge” of primary aluminum imports from Canada into the U.S. The Aluminum Association previously released U.S. government data demonstrating that current import levels are largely consistent with historical trends and market fundamentals. 
The letter notes: “The integrated North American aluminum supply chain has been a crucial element of the U.S. aluminum industry’s ability to invest and grow over the past several decades. The U.S. aluminum industry needs a reliable source of input aluminum material to manufacture semi-fabricated products like aluminum foil, sheet, plate, wire, extrusions and other products. Even at full capacity, U.S. primary aluminum smelters can only meet about one-third of the demand for this vital material. The aluminum industry has no choice but to import a significant amount of primary aluminum to meet demand – the only question is from where?”  
Read the full letter here.
Signatories included:
  • Tom Dobbins, President & CEO, The Aluminum Association
  • Steve Fisher, President & CEO, Novelis, Inc.
  • Jean-Marc Germain, CEO, Constellium
  • Henry Gordinier, President & CEO, Tri-Arrows Aluminum, Inc.
  • Roy Harvey, President & CEO, Alcoa Corporation
  • Erin Fauber, CEO, American Metal Chemical Corporation
  • Tim Myers, CEO, Arconic Corp.
  • Charlie Straface, Business Unit President, Hydro Extrusion North America
  • Lee McCarter, CEO, JW Aluminum, Inc.
  • Jack Hockema, CEO & Chairman, Kaiser Aluminum
  • Terry Hogan, President & CEO, Real Alloy
  • Murray Rudisill, Vice President, Operations, Reynolds Consumer Products
  • Alf Barrios, CEO, Rio Tinto Aluminum
  • Garney Scott, President & CEO, Scepter, Inc.
  • Gary Karnish, CEO, Silberline Manufacturing Company
  • Wes Oberholzer, CEO, Smelter Service Corporation
  • Kevin Person, CEO, Wagstaff, Inc.
“Today’s letter shows an industry united in support of the continued free flow of metal within North America,” said Tom Dobbins, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “After all of the hard work that has gone into making the USMCA a reality, it would be a shame to move backward by reapplying tariffs or quotas on aluminum. We trust that the administration will heed the advice of representatives from the impacted industry who recognize that this action would only hurt U.S. aluminum companies and workers.”
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Matt Meenan

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About The Aluminum Association
The Aluminum Association represents the full value chain of aluminum production and jobs in the United States, including companies that make 70% of the aluminum and aluminum products shipped in North America. The association is the industry’s leading voice, developing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise for member companies, policymakers and the general public. Aluminum helps manufacturers make good products great and great products even better – from fuel-efficient vehicles and sustainable packaging to the infrastructure of tomorrow and more. The industry supports $228 billion in economic activity and nearly 700,000 jobs in the United States. Aluminum companies have invested more than $10 billion in U.S. manufacturing over the past decade to capture next generation growth. For more information, visit

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