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G7 makes explicit urgency to avoid aluminium overcapacity

Brussels, 10 June 2018 – European Aluminium welcomes the G7’s communiqué stressing the “urgent need to avoid excess capacity” in the aluminium sector and the push to develop a stronger international rules on market-distorting industrial subsidies and trade-distorting actions by state-owned enterprises. European Aluminium believes that both the modernisation of international organisations and the creation of a global multilateral and governmental Forum on Aluminium Overcapacity are necessary to prevent damages to its well-integrated value chains.

“The recognition by G7 countries of aluminium overcapacity driven by China is the right step to address this global problem which is putting immense pressure on workers and producers across the world. The year-on-year increase of Chinese primary and semi-fabricated aluminium overcapacities fueled by massive domestic subsidies has to be stopped as soon as possible to preserve the well-integrated value chains in Europe” commented Gerd Götz, European Aluminium’s Director General.

This recognition follows the recommendations stemming from the Montreal Aluminium Summit, which brought together representatives of G7 governments, representatives of aluminium associations and industry leaders from Canada, the U.S., Europe and Japan. During the summit, a policy-driven ”Roadmap to a sustainable global aluminium market” was presented including guidelines for the creation of a Global Multilateral and Governmental Forum on Aluminium Overcapacity.

“In this new era of trade where uncertainty and bilateral measures are becoming the new normal, creative approaches are needed to reinforce multilateralism and fair trade effectively. Beyond the Global Forum on Aluminium Overcapacity, we should make sure WTO remains the core international organisaiton to cope with these new realities,” concluded Götz.

European Aluminium will continue to cooperate with its Canadian, American and Japanese counterparts to reach this goal and support G20 leaders with the required knowledge, data and commitment to set up the Forum.  

It’s time to make the EU Circular Economy Package work

Brussels 22 May 2018- It’s time now for the 28 EU Member States to start delivering on reducing landfill of household waste to maximum 10% by 2035, measuring real recycling after the final sorting phase and promoting the use of materials which are reusable or multiple recyclable. Europe now has the framework to make the Circular Economy really work, says European Aluminium, after the Council of Ministers has voted for the amended Waste Directives of the Package. 

With impressive recycling rates of over 90% in transport and building and over 60% in packaging, aluminium is already contributing to the European circular economy. However, there is still room for improvement and Member States need to invest more in their existing collection and sorting infrastructure in order to meet the new and more ambitious recycling targets, including on aluminium packaging.

Director General Gerd Götz said: “Europe should promote the use of innovative sorting and separation technologies and make funding and other financial incentives available to all materials, not only to plastics. This would improve the uptake of used materials in Europe and reduce scrap leakage to third countries, certainly if waste exporters have to prove that the recycling is performed under the same environmental, health and safety conditions as in Europe. The latter should be addressed in the upcoming revision of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation”.

European Aluminium also encourages the EU Commission to propose a recycling target for construction and demolition waste before 2024. On top, Europe should further clarify the proposed harmonized reporting of national recycling statistics including the quantities of metals recycled from incinerator bottom ash.

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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