The Aluminum Association today applauded the House Committee on Appropriations for passing the fiscal year 2021 Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies appropriations bill out of committee, with support and guidance for two fundamental Department of Commerce programs that impact the aluminum industry in the United States. The committee allocated $800,000 to fund a new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIMA) system, a program long advocated by the Aluminum Association.
The committee also included language in its report noting the aluminum industry’s concerns about the current Section 232 exclusion process. The committee calls on the Department of Commerce to “improve its efforts to ensure that exclusion volumes are not unnecessarily disproportionate to historic import volumes” – in line with the comments submitted last week by the Aluminum Association to the department in response to a public inquiry about potential changes to the program.
The committee language is consistent with policy priorities laid out in the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Agenda: A Policy Roadmap for a Competitive U.S. Aluminum Industry.
Ranking subcommittee member and Congressional Aluminum Caucus Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) noted during debate on the bill, “I am especially pleased that [the bill] funds the Commerce Department’s new aluminum imports monitoring program. I applaud President Trump's attention to this serious issue of foreign actors such as the Chinese as they are dumping subsidized aluminum into the U.S. market. In order to deploy this important program effectively, I urge the department to consult with the full value chain of the aluminum industry to ensure the program protects businesses and workers, such as those in the district I represent in Alabama.”
“We appreciate the committee’s leadership on these issues as a vital step to ensuring strong trade enforcement and a level-playing field for U.S. aluminum companies and workers,” said Tom Dobbins, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “We look forward to working closely with the Commerce Department to launch a new aluminum import monitoring system that serves the entire value chain of the aluminum industry in the United States, and to seeing reforms enacted to the Section 232 exclusion process.”
The next step in the appropriations process will be consideration by the full House, expected later this month, followed by a reconciliation process in the Senate later in the fall. The report language with the bill passed today by the committee provides clarity and guidance for the funds appropriated by Congress to the Commerce Department.
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, representing companies that make 70 percent of the aluminum and aluminum products shipped in North America. The association develops global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise for 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.