AEC Suggests Remedy in 232 Aluminum Investigation
December 20, 2017; Wauconda, Illinois -- The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) was encouraged by the initiation of the Aluminum 232 Investigation and the implication that President Trump was going to take on the greatest risk to the future of the U.S. aluminum industry - China. AEC members stood up to China’s illegal and unfair trade policies with the imposition of antidumping orders in 2011. As a result of these orders, AEC member companies have made significant new investments that enabled the industry to offer new products and technologies for transportation, defense, automotive light-weighting, and many other applications.
However, the Administration risks ignoring the China problem by imposing trade restrictions on imports from other countries which could shut off the supply of primary aluminum and threaten the ability of downstream American manufacturers to compete. Therefore, the Aluminum Extruders Council is recommending a remedy that places an aluminum content tariff on all Chinese imports. Importers would need to declare the value of the aluminum content in their imports and pay a tariff on that value. “The recommended tariff is 100%, which is about what the extruders have in place today,” said Jeff Henderson, President of the AEC.
AEC recognizes that U.S. primary aluminum producers are struggling. These struggles are rooted in high energy costs and regulatory burdens compared to other countries and the significant price depressing effects China’s vast overcapacity has on global prices. Therefore, restricting access to imports from other countries will not solve the real problems U.S. primary aluminum manufactures face.
“Given the successes realized by AEC’s trade actions, we believed the administration would take a keen interest in our industry’s journey,” said Henderson. “When there is a complete consensus that China is the problem, we are concerned that the remedies imposed in the 232 Investigation will miss the need to focus on China and instead lead to tariffs on that much-needed aluminum supply, risking the downstream markets’ ability to compete in a global marketplace.”
Should the Administration decide to place a tariff on primary aluminum imports, then American value-added manufacturers impacted by the artificially inflated cost of production must be protected. This protection must be of equal or greater value than the primary aluminum tariff, and it must extend to the downstream manufacturers.
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The AEC has led the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry in achieving level competition by winning tariff protection that offsets unfair trade practices of extruders/importers of aluminum profiles produced in China. The efforts have been of enormous value to domestic extruders and suppliers. They may have saved the industry. Conservatively, AEC estimates 800 million pounds per year of extrusions are being produced in the U.S. that would have otherwise been lost to China. For more information, visit www.AECFairTrade.org.
The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC), established in 1950, is an international association dedicated to advancing the effective use of aluminum extrusion in North America. AEC is committed to bringing comprehensive information about extrusion's characteristics, applications, environmental benefits, design and technology to users, product designers, engineers and the academic community. Further, AEC is focused on enhancing the ability of its members to meet the emerging demands of the market through sharing knowledge and best practices. Advocacy programs ensure that aluminum extruders, suppliers and their products remain relevant and viable in an ever-changing legislative and regulatory climate. More than 120 member companies represent primary aluminum producers and other industry suppliers in addition to aluminum extruders operating hundreds of extrusion presses in hundreds of plants worldwide. For more information, visit the website at www.aec.org; contact AEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.