During the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Global Trade Forum in Paris, France, senior leaders from the aluminium associations of Canada, Europe and the United States called on governments to take urgent actions to reform government policies and practices that distort the global aluminum market.
In a joint statement, Jean Simard, President & CEO of the Aluminium Association of Canada; Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium; and Ryan Olsen, Vice President, Business Information and Statistics for the Aluminum Association said:
“Given the extent and duration of the harm suffered by the aluminium industry, we are calling for swift, focused and decisive action on market-distorting behavior and excess capacity in both the upstream and downstream sectors. On behalf of our respective member companies, we stand ready to support Governments and international organizations with our knowledge, data and commitment to articulate improved trade rules and to restore normal market functions so that all producers throughout the aluminum value chain can compete under conditions of fairness and transparency.”
The three representatives spoke in a panel discussion on the aluminium sector, as part of a full-day conference devoted to the issues of leveling the playing field and identifying a multilateral path forward for addressing trade distorting government support across a range of sectors.
Discussion in the session drew on the OECD’s January 2019 report, “Measuring Distortions in International Markets: The Aluminium Value Chain.” The report, which forms part of broader OECD work to measure government support across sectors including agriculture, fossil fuels and fisheries, is the first OECD has produced on the aluminium industry specifically. The study shows that non-market forces, including state subsidies, are responsible for much of the recent increase in global aluminum capacity, with impacts along the entire industry value chain.
Using publicly available data, the report examined state support for 17 of the world’s largest aluminum companies. While each of the 17 firms received some level of government support, industry participants highlighted their concerns about the nature and scale of support in some countries.
“The fact that fully 85 percent of the identified subsidies went to five aluminium producing firms in China, representing USD $70 billion in direct support from the Chinese government over a five-year period is of great concern,” said the three associations in their joint statement. “The OECD evidence underscores the need for urgent action to level the playing field for the aluminium sector globally”
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 $174 billion in economic activity and nearly 700,000 jobs. For more information visit https://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.
About the Aluminum Association of Canada
The Aluminum Association of Canada (AAC) is a non-profit organization representing three Canadian world-class aluminum producers: Alcoa, Alouette, and Rio Tinto operating ten smelters in Canada, nine of which are in Quebec, and employing over 8,000 workers and generating over 5.5 billion US$ in annual deliveries. For more information, visit http://www.aluminium.ca or Twitter @AAC_aluminium.
About European Aluminium
European Aluminium, founded in 1981 and based in Brussels, is the voice of the aluminium industry in Europe. We actively engage with decision makers and the wider stakeholder community to promote the outstanding properties of aluminium, secure growth and optimise the contribution our metal can make to meeting Europe's sustainability challenges. Through environmental and technical expertise, economic and statistical analysis, scientific research, education and sharing of best practices, public affairs and communication activities, European Aluminium promotes the use of aluminium as a material with permanent properties that is part of the solution to achieving sustainable goals, while maintaining and improving the image of the industry, of the material and of its applications among their stakeholders. Our 80+ members include primary aluminium producers; downstream manufacturers of extruded, rolled and cast aluminium; producers of recycled aluminium and national aluminium associations are representing more than 600 plants in 30 European countries. Aluminium products are used in a wide range of markets, including automotive, transport, high-tech engineering, building, construction and packaging. For more information visit www.european-aluminium.eu.