It seems Glencore-owned Century Aluminum, which has been the most vocal on the Section 232 issue, is a big winner in the tariff debate, while downstream consumers are the losers. This is according to a new article in Fastmarkets, which published an analysis of aluminum metal prices and where major stakeholders stand nine months into the Section 232 tariffs announcement.
Century calls the tariffs a win; the downstream aluminum industry and aluminum consumers not so much. "Where Century and a significant portion of producers and consumers differ in opinion is over the potential unintended consequences of the tariffs, including for American workers with jobs in the mid- and downstream segment of the aluminum industry," according to author Andrea Hotter.
A sizeable portion of the aluminum industry has privately grumbled about or publicly raised objections to Section 232 remedies, noting that neither tariffs nor quotas will fix what they deem to be the real issue at stake – overcapacity in China, helped by state subsidies. This includes the members of the Aluminum Extruders Council and the Aluminum Association.