APAA Letter – The Honorable Robert E. Lighthizer U.S. Trade Representative
Yesterday, the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA) delivered a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary Wilbur Ross providing important data to bring awareness to the surge of Canadian aluminum imports to the United States that is threatening the viability of the domestic primary aluminum industry.
In the letter, the APAA calls on the Trump Administration to save the American primary aluminum industry by repealing Canada’s exemption to the Section 232 tariffs that occurred one-year ago in May 2019. The agreement between the U.S. and Canada that waived the tariffs expressly provides for this surge remedy. Preserving the U.S. primary aluminum industry, including the production of military-grade primary aluminum, was one of the principal drivers of the Section 232 investigation and the resulting tariffs.
“While Canadian producers want the windfall of avoiding Section 232 duties, the Canadian surge is destroying what remains of the U.S. industry,” remarked Mark Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of the APAA. “One U.S. smelter in Washington state is slated to be shuttered and another in Indiana is under strategic review. The New Madrid smelter in Missouri has warned that they are at imminent risk of shut down unless the Canadian surge is addressed. We urge the Administration to reimpose the 10% tariff on aluminum imports from Canada to save American aluminum jobs.”
The letter goes on to explain that if U.S. smelters continue to shutter, the U.S. will only become more dependent on offshore primary aluminum supply. This situation will increase supply chain vulnerability at the very time the U.S. is seeking to preserve a threshold level of production at home.