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Decisive actions needed to tackle unprecedented US import measures on aluminium

Brussels, 1 March 2018 – European Aluminium calls on the European Commission and EU Member States to protect the aluminium industry following the announcement by US President Trump that a tariff of 10 % will be imposed on all aluminium exports from all countries following the recommendations of the Section 232 report.  

“We regret President Trump’s decision to impose a tariff on all aluminium imports independent of their country of origin. European aluminium exports to the US, in view of both their quantity and characteristics, do not pose any threat to US national security. Most importantly, this blanket tariff does not address the root cause of the main challenges faced by the aluminium industry today: the unsustainable and steady increase of aluminium overcapacities in China. This global challenge can only be managed effectively through a global and long-term solution based on multilateral rules and common enforcement such as the creation of a Global Aluminium Forum within G20,” commented Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium.

These unprecedented measures threaten to destabilize global trade flows. As a result of the tariff, European Aluminium fears a disruption of the current trading relationship between the United States and Europe, which have strongly interlinked value chains and a significant number of multinationals operating in both territories. The association also expects that the measures will likely result in a redirection of aluminium products from third countries to Europe. Decisive actions must be taken toneutralise effects on European companies.

“The European value chain is already under enormous pressure due to global overcapacities, the announced measures put thousands of jobs in over 600 plants, many of which are SME’s, in countries such as Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden and Central and East European countries at risk. We urge the European Commission and EU Member States to implement without further delay actions to protect our industrial interests, in line with international trade rules” concludes Götz.

EAA outlines the challenge of overcapacity in response to US Section 232 Report findings

Brussels, 19 February 2018 - Whilst reviewing the report released by the US Department of Commerce (DoC) on the effect of imports of aluminium on national security, European Aluminium reconfirms its belief that the root cause of the main challenges faced by the aluminium industry is global excess capacity, in particular in China. Potential measures should address these imbalances without distorting global trade flows and interfering with the current trading relationship between the United States and Europe.

“Last year, we provided data and evidence during the US Congress hearing on the Section 232 investigation that prove European aluminium imports, in view of both their quantity and characteristics, do not pose any threat to US national security. Both parties know that overcapacity is a global and structural problem that requires a global and long term solution such as the creation of a Global Aluminium Forum within G20. We believe that we need to stick to an approach based on multilateral rules and common enforcement in creating an enforceable global playing field for all producers that can promote competitiveness and jobs on a regional level but can also encourage innovation across our unique transatlantic hubs,” said Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium.  

The American and European value chains are strongly interlinked, adding value to both societies as a whole and strengthening national security in the US. Today, 15 multinationals are members of both European Aluminium and the American Aluminum Association and supply a vast majority of the entire aluminium value chain on both sides of the Atlantic on a daily basis.

“The proposed unilateral measures would cause great harm to the European aluminium industry and further imbalance global trade flows without addressing the increasing overcapacities in China. Should the US decide to enforce these measures, we count on the support of the European Commission to use all its possible trade defence instruments to protect the European industry against further harm,” concluded Götz.

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