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Increased Tariffs on Chinese Imports a Win for U.S. Aluminum

President Biden’s Call for Enhanced Section 301 Tariffs Consistent with Aluminum Association Position

The Aluminum Association applauded today’s announcement by the White House calling on the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to triple existing Section 301 tariff levels for Chinese imports of aluminum and steel from current levels of 7.5%. The Aluminum Association has consistently advocated for an increase in the Section 301 tariffs on aluminum imports from China as the most appropriate action to directly target non-market behavior in China. The association will work closely with the USTR as they implement the White House directive.
“Today’s decision is a win for the U.S. aluminum industry and the nearly 700,000 American workers the sector supports,” said Charles Johnson, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Unfortunately, China continues to engage in significant unfair trade activities, including massive state subsidies which hurt U.S. manufacturing and global carbon reduction efforts. This targeted tariff action by the Biden administration will help to counteract some of these challenges.”
The White House statement also noted that President Biden is “directing his senior team to work with Mexico to jointly prevent China’s and other countries’ evasion of tariffs on steel and aluminum.” The Aluminum Association is working with industry partners in Mexico and Canada to argue for increased trade monitoring and enforcement by the Mexican government.
“We appreciate the administration’s efforts to address potential transshipment and tariff circumvention in Mexico which may be allowing unfairly and illegally traded aluminum from China, Russia and elsewhere to enter the U.S. market,” said Johnson.
Today’s announcement will also have a positive impact on efforts to reduce carbon emissions in global aluminum production. Years of industry benchmarking and a recent third-party, critical-reviewed life cycle assessment (LCA) report found that making aluminum and aluminum products in regions like China, which rely disproportionately on coal-fired power, can be two to three times as carbon intensive as making similar products in North America. A study last year by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that state subsidizes for aluminum smelters in China and elsewhere were exacerbating global greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent OECD reports found that the vast majority of state subsidies in the aluminum sector go to firms in China.
The U.S. aluminum industry is a key part of the U.S. manufacturing base and clean energy transition, representing more than 160,000 direct American jobs. Over the past decade, the industry has invested more than $10 billion in U.S. manufacturing including recycling operations and the first greenfield rolling mills in a generation. The industry was also the recent recipient of more than $650 million in Department of Energy grants to support industrial decarbonization. The energy and carbon impact of aluminum production in North America (United States and Canada) has dropped to its lowest point in history, declining by more than half over the past 30 years.

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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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