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U.S., EU Aluminum Associations Highlight Need for Global Arrangement that Addresses Both Decarbonization, Non-Market Behavior

Groups urge policymakers to reach a deal by October 2023

The Aluminum Association and European Aluminum sent a joint letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and EU Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis ahead of continued discussions on the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum (Global Arrangement) in Belgium July 20-21.

“The U.S. aluminum industry has announced more domestic investment over the past two years than the prior several decades combined,” said Charles Johnson, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “That’s why it is so important that the U.S. government reaches a politically sustainable arrangement with the EU to support continued growth of low carbon aluminum production here at home. We appreciate the work of Ambassador Tai and the full USTR team on this issue and look forward to continued engagement." 

The letter underscores the need for the Global Arrangement to address both decarbonization and market behavior to best support the aluminum industry on both sides of the Atlantic.  

The letter states: 

“As trade relations deteriorate worldwide, any restrictions among long-standing and responsible partners will only harm aluminum producers worldwide. A well-designed [Global Arrangement] agreement should recognize and incentivize the low carbon, market-driven aluminum industries in [Global Arrangement] party countries ensuring a level-playing field within the GSA as regards climate-related costs. Further, the agreement should set reasonable targets and benchmarks for non-party countries so that they can join the agreement, or face measures for high carbon, non-competitive imports. This will ensure that non-party countries do not jeopardize aluminum production in [Global Arrangement] member countries.”

The association leaders also stressed the importance of “timely and effective delivery” of the Global Arrangement by October 2023. 

Read the full letter here and below. Learn more about the Aluminum Association’s activity on global trade at www.aluminum.org/trade

Full Text

Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis
Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner                                                 

Ambassador Katherine Tai
U.S. Trade Representative

Brussels, 19 July 2023 

Honorable Mr Dombrovskis, 
Honorable Ambassador Katherine Tai, 

Object: The American and European aluminum industries jointly urge the progress of negotiations to ensure the timely and effective delivery of the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum (Global Arrangement).

The Aluminum Association and European Aluminium, the associations representing the aluminum industry in the United States and Europe, call on policymakers to reach a deal on the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum (Global Arrangement) by October 2023. 

If designed correctly, the GSA can enhance the sustainability of the aluminum industry on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. It is in fact a strategic tool with the potential to incentivize decarbonization in every region in the world. However, efforts to tackle global warming in the U.S. and the EU will be dangerously undermined if they are not accompanied by measures to curb unfair trade practices by countries that do not adhere to market economy principles.

We therefore stress that any agreement must be based on the twin ambitions of promoting decarbonization and encouraging fair and transparent market behavior. We also stress the need to ensure that relevant and aluminum-specific benchmarks and methodologies are established with these overarching goals in mind. It is also critical that the agreement is open to like-minded partners such as Canada and European Free Trade Association countries.

As trade relations deteriorate worldwide, any restrictions among long-standing and responsible partners will only harm aluminum producers worldwide. A well-designed GSA agreement should recognize and incentivize the low carbon, market-driven aluminum industries in GSA party countries ensuring a level-playing field within the GSA as regards climate-related costs. Further, the agreement should set reasonable targets and benchmarks for non-party countries so that they can join the agreement, or face measures for high carbon, non-competitive imports. This will ensure that non-party countries do not jeopardize aluminum production in GSA member countries. 

We hope this input will be helpful for the smooth progress of negotiations. As always, our associations look forward to working with you on this crucial matter.  

Yours sincerely, 

Charles Johnson
The Aluminum Association
President and CEO

Paul Voss
European Aluminium
Director General

Media Contact

Katie Rosebrook
krosebrook@aluminum.org
703-358-2966

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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% 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 $176 billion in economic activity and more than 634,000 jobs. For more information visit https://www.aluminum.org or find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. 

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