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U.S. aluminum industry praises Trump's import tariffs

April 20, 2018  

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A coalition of American aluminum producers are voicing their support for the administration’s decision to impose tariffs on aluminum imports, but are also asking in a letter to the administration to ensure that the relief stays broad and comprehensive.

“Since the president signed the proclamation on March 8, domestic primary aluminum producers have already begun the process of restarting their idled capacity, investing in new technologies, and supporting thousands of new American jobs,” said CTTF Executive Director Mark Duffy. “This letter calls upon the Trump administration to hold true to this proclamation and ensure broad, comprehensive relief. To prevent transshipment and circumvention of the tariffs through exempted countries, any exemptions must be limited through a quota system.”

Three high-profile aluminum industry leaders co-signed a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross and United States Trade Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer. The authors of the letter included Tom Conway, Vice President of United Steel Workers, Michael A. Bless, President and CEO of Century Aluminum, and Robert Prusak, Chief Executive Officer of Magnitude 7 Metals.

The CTTF points out that dozens of nations are lobbying the administration for exemptions, which threaten the effectiveness of these tariffs and leave room for exempted countries to help non-exempted countries circumvent the tariffs. Because aluminum is a globally-traded commodity product, broad, comprehensive relief is the only way the tariffs will yield the relief the industry needs, with President Trump set to announce his approach to exemptions on May 1.

The letter to Secretary Ross and Ambassador Lighthizer coincides with the launch of the CTTF’s latest “Aluminum Now” campaign video, which urges President Trump not to give exemptions to foreign nations and their aluminum imports.

The video explains that if the Trump administration allows exemptions from countries like ArgentinaAustraliaBrazil, and others in the European Union, foreign aluminum would continue to flood the domestic marketplace and derail the tremendous progress that has been made over the past few weeks in America’s aluminum industry.