On February 16, 2018, the Department of Commerce announced recommendations from Section 232 report prepared in connection with the agency’s investigation of the national security implications of imported aluminum. The president has until April 19 to decide whether to adopt one of the Commerce Department's recommendations, take a different action, or take no action.
Aluminum Association President & CEO Heidi Brock commented:
“We look forward to working with the president on a final decision that helps support continued growth in the U.S. aluminum industry. Ultimately, we favor a negotiated, enforceable government-to-government agreement with China on overcapacity.”
The Aluminum Association continues to urge that any remedial actions taken by the president in connection with the Commerce Department’s report embrace the following principles:
Specifically address Chinese overcapacity and its effects, while avoiding unintended consequences for U.S. production and jobs.
Not interfere with the current trading relationship between the United States and critical trading partner countries (including Canada, the European Union and others) that operate as market economies, support U.S. aluminum production and jobs, and are highly integrated with North American supply chains. Of particular note, the North American aluminum industry has a long-term, essential trading relationship with Canada, which supports U.S. jobs and industry growth. By statute, Canada is considered part of the nation’s defense industrial base.
Address the needs of the domestic aluminum value chain, including both primary and downstream U.S. production. Specifically, any action should ensure that producers and fabricators of intermediate aluminum products used in manufacturing finished products experience beneficial effects.
Adopt a monitoring system (similar to Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System) for aluminum imports and particularly for imports from countries that pose a circumvention threat (Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.).
The U.S. aluminum industry supports 161,000 direct jobs and more than 700,000 jobs when indirect and induced impacts are considered. Further, the industry creates $75 billion in direct economic impact and $186 billion in total impact, around 1 percent of U.S. GDP. The industry has been operating in a very challenging environment for a number of years largely because of Chinese overcapacity distorting the marketplace. For more information on Chinese aluminum overcapacity, visit Getting Trade Right.
On April 27, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive memorandum initiating an investigation exploring the national security implications of foreign imports of aluminum on U.S. national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. You can read the full executive memorandum and statement from the White House here and a summary of Section 232 actions here. Representatives from the Aluminum Association and others in the domestic aluminum industry as well as several members of the Congressional Aluminum Caucus joined the president for the signing ceremony, which was broadcast live nationally.
Official White House Photo from left to right -- Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-2); Rep. Jason Smith (MO-8); Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; Gabe Hudock, President & Founder, Alumisource; Michael Bless, President, CEO & Director, Century Aluminum; Mrs. Gabe Hudock; Garney Scott, President & CEO, Scepter Inc & Aluminum Association Chairman; Margaret Consentino, Vice President, Government Affairs & Defense, Arconic; Lee McCarter, CEO, JW Aluminum; Heidi Brock, President & CEO, the Aluminum Association; Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-3); Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-8), Co-Chairman, Congressional Aluminum Caucus; Michelle O'Neill, Vice President, Government Affairs & Trade Policy, Alcoa; and Roy Harvey, CEO, Alcoa.
On June 22, 2017, more than 30 aluminum industry stakeholders testified at a Department of Commerce public hearing on a Section 232 investigation examining the national security implications of imported aluminum.You can view the full hearing below: