The American Primary Aluminum Association Applauds Congressional Revocation of Russia’s PNTR Status


WASHINGTON D.C., April 7, 2022 – Following the passage of the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act, the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA) released the following statement:

“The American Primary Aluminum Association applauds Congress and the efforts by the Biden Administration to revoke the United States’ Permanent Normal Trade Relationship with Russia. By stripping Russia of its Permanent Normal Trade Relationship status, the United States deprives Russia of significant revenue for its steel and aluminum exports used to fund its war against the peoples of Ukraine.

“Revoking PNTR status further prevents Russian industries from benefiting from the very economic turmoil that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has caused and is a necessary step in deterring further aggression.

About the American Primary Aluminum Association:

The American Primary Aluminum Association advances the interests of America’s primary aluminum industry and its workers through the Aluminum Now campaign. APAA is registered and incorporated in Washington, DC and operates as a non-profit trade association. For more, please visit:

APAA Supports the Biden Administration’s Tariff-Rate Quota Deal with the European Union


Washington, DC; October 30, 2021 – The American Primary Aluminum Association, which represents the majority of U.S. primary aluminum  producers and thousands of aluminum workers across the country, expressed its support for the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) deal reached between the Biden Administration and the European Union.

Mark Duffy, CEO of the APAA, noted that “The just announced TRQ deal will maintain the effectiveness of the Section 232 aluminum program, while allowing us to support continued investment in the U.S. primary aluminum industry and create more American aluminum jobs. Of critical importance, the arrangement supports America’s primary aluminum industry by setting the quota portion of the TRQ at very low levels that are well below pre-232 volumes.”

Prior to the Section 232 program, all of America’s primary aluminum smelters were slated for closure because of the collapse in prices due to excess global capacity. Since its implementation, the Section 232 program has helped America maintain its ability to produce primary aluminum, protecting and creating thousands of American aluminum jobs and leading to over $6 billion in new domestic capital investments (upstream and downstream).

As part of President Biden’s commitment to rebuild domestic manufacturing, the TRQ deal will allow U.S. primary aluminum producers to keep reinvesting and creating more good-paying American jobs as we work together to Build Back Better.

About the American Primary Aluminum Association:

The American Primary Aluminum Association advances the interests of America’s primary aluminum industry and its workers through the Aluminum Now campaign. APAA is registered and incorporated in Washington, DC and operates as a non-profit trade association. For more, please visit:

American Primary Aluminum Association Strongly Supports the Continuation of the Section 232 Aluminum Program

Washington, D.C., Oct. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA), whose members represent the vast majority of U.S. primary aluminum production and employ thousands of American aluminum workers, strongly favor the continuation of the Section 232 aluminum program. Contrary to claims made by associations representing foreign producers, the domestic primary aluminum industry supports a well-crafted tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for the European Union to preserve the effectiveness of the Section 232 program. These common-sense tariffs saved the American primary aluminum industry and are allowing the domestic industry to rebuild, which is critical to U.S. national and economic security.

Prior to the institution of the Section 232 program, all of America’s primary aluminum smelters were slated for closure as a result of the collapse in prices due to the global excess capacity crisis. As a result of the Section 232 program, the U.S. primary aluminum has stabilized and has begun the long process of rebuilding what was lost to decades of the devastating effects of global excess capacity.

Now, U.S. producers have the confidence that their investments are viable. Our members continue to increase domestic aluminum production, with active expansion and hiring programs across the U.S., including in places like Goose Creek, South Carolina, Hawesville, Kentucky and New Madrid, Missouri. The reinvestment in the U.S. primary aluminum industry has only just begun.

Calls from foreign trade groups seeking to phase down the tariff seek only to benefit their affiliated semi-finished European production rather than Building Back Better by investing in American manufacturing and American jobs throughout the entire value chain.

The domestic primary aluminum industry supports a well-crafted tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for the European Union to preserve the effectiveness of the Section 232 program and does not support a phase down of the tariff. The Section 232 program continues to drive investment, expansion and the creation of new jobs in the American aluminum industry, both upstream and downstream. The program should remain in place to allow this critical U.S. industry to continue to recover as we Build Back Better.

About the American Primary Aluminum Association:

The American Primary Aluminum Association advances the interests of America’s primary aluminum industry and its workers through the Aluminum Now campaign. APAA is registered and incorporated in Washington, DC and operates as a non-profit trade association. For more, please visit:

Intended suspension of anti-dumping duties keeps floodgates for unfair and high-carbon Chinese imports open

This press release was first issued by European Aluminium on Sept. 10, 2021

Brussels, 10 September 2021 – European Aluminium, the voice of the European aluminium value chain, warns against the Commission’s proposed 9-month suspension of the definitive anti-dumping duties on Chinese aluminium flat-rolled products. A key contributor to the European Green Deal, the sector is worried about the block’s contradictory trade enforcement actions and sounds the alarm about the suspension’s devastating impact on EU industries beyond aluminium.

“On 30 August, the European Commission released its annual report on EU trade defence activity, in which it writes European companies and their workers can continue to rely on robust trade defence instruments that protect them against unfair trade practices. Only two days later, the Commission announced its intention to suspend the definitive anti-dumping duties on aluminium flat-rolled products from China. This news has sent shock waves through the aluminium industry and other industrial sectors. How can European industries trust in the urgently needed trade enforcement measures when the flood gates for high-carbon, dumped Chinese products stay so willingly open?” says Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium.

European Aluminium warns that the impact of a suspension on the European aluminium value chain would be devastating and long-lasting. Tens of thousands of EU jobs and hundreds of millions of euros in decarbonisation and recycling investments are on the line. The EU risks further losing production capacity for a material that is critical to the EU’s green transition, compromising Europe’s strategic autonomy.  Furthermore, a suspension will boost Chinese imports with a high carbon footprint, endangering the EU’s climate ambitions. The carbon footprint of European primary aluminium production is one of the lowest globally: approximately 7kg of CO2 per kg of aluminium compared to the Chinese average of 20kg of CO2 per kg of aluminium.

European Aluminium also points out a suspension signals China’s unfair trade practices are tolerated and might set a dangerous precedent for anti-dumping cases in other sectors. A suspension could jeopardise transatlantic relations in the joint fight for free and fair trade on a global scale. Since the U.S. blocked all dumped imports of Chinese aluminium, a suspension of long-overdue anti-dumping duties in the EU could dissuade the U.S. from lifting its Section 232 measures on aluminium and steel. Europe needs the support of its allies to take joint actions against the root cause of the distorted aluminium market: subsidised Chinese excess capacity.

“The European aluminium industry is determined to pursue all avenues to challenge the proposed suspension because it’s fundamentally unwarranted and contradictory to the Commission’s trade and climate ambitions. We request the Commission not to suspend the definitive measures due for October 2021 and offer our support for an urgently needed in-depth and balanced investigation,” concludes Götz.

Century Aluminum CEO Jesse Gary: Section 232 program is vital for high-paying jobs

This article by Century Aluminum CEO Jesse Gary originally appeared in the South Carolina Post and Courier on June 4, 2021.


[This week], we were honored to welcome Gov. Henry McMaster and U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn to usher in a new era of growth for the Mount Holly aluminum smelter. Century Aluminum, America’s largest primary aluminum producer, is increasing production at the Goose Creek smelter by 50%, including investing more than $60 million and creating about 100 good-paying jobs.


This was only possible thanks to the leadership of Gov. McMaster, Rep. Clyburn and our Century team members in South Carolina as we work together to support Palmetto State families. We are proud that the Mount Holly aluminum smelter will now provide more than 400 direct aluminum jobs and create more than $500 million of overall economic activity in the Lowcountry.


Our smelter is the newest and most efficient smelter in the United States and produces products that are a vital part of our country’s national defense infrastructure. The aluminum produced in South Carolina is a key input for modern building materials, medical equipment, electrical vehicles and the renewable energy components that are essential to a low-carbon future in the United States. U.S. aluminum products also are used to create fighter jet skins and structures, armor plating for troop carriers and naval vessels, and propellants for missiles and other aerospace applications.


According to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, in order for the U.S. primary aluminum industry to keep producing the quantities of aluminum we need, the Section 232 program must remain in place. The EPI report highlights how the Section 232 program has led to more than $6 billion in investments in 55 aluminum manufacturing projects since the initiation of the program in March 2018, creating nearly 4,500 additional jobs.


Despite the success of the program, global overcapacity in aluminum is still a major problem. A recent study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that nations around the world, from China to India to the Middle East, have poured billions of dollars into subsidizing and creating aluminum industries in their own countries given the critical role that aluminum plays in national security.


These subsidies have created significant overcapacity that has had a devastating effect on the U.S. industry. Since 2001, 17 smelters have closed their doors in the United States, leaving only six operating today. If the U.S. primary aluminum industry were to completely shut down, we would be forced to obtain aluminum critical for our national defense from our geopolitical rivals like Russia and China, and Middle Eastern nations.


The good news is that since the Section 232 program went into effect, the program has led to investments that have increased America’s domestic aluminum production by more than 60% and allowed plants like Mount Holly to create thousands of new American aluminum jobs. As the U.S. primary aluminum industry continues to rebuild, families in South Carolina and across our great nation benefit.


Just a few years ago, the forecast was cloudy for Mount Holly and the rest of the U.S. aluminum industry. Today, thanks to the 232 program, Century Aluminum is proud to be celebrating this new $60 million investment and 100 new jobs here in the Palmetto state.
Jesse Gary is the incoming president and chief executive officer of Century Aluminum.

Economic Policy Institute Report: Section 232 Tariffs Benefited Aluminum Producers and Consumers

A new report released by the Economic Policy Institute found that the Section 232 Tariff Import Measures helped Aluminum Producers and Consumers thrive, without negative downstream effects on the rest of the economy.

This report makes clear what APAA has been saying for years: the Section 232 Tariffs have helped our economy and improved our national security, and APAA urges the Biden-Harris Administration to keep them in place.

Read the full report here:

This remote factory is where Trump may finally draw the line on trade


HAWESVILLE, Ky. — When Bill Hughes went to fight in Iraq in 2003, members of his Army unit lined their vehicles with scrap metal, sandbags and bulletproof vests to protect themselves from roadside bombs. By the time his younger brother Ryan Young was in Iraq in 2008, the vehicles were made of a high-purity aluminum alloy that was much more effective at absorbing the blast.

“At the beginning of the Iraq War, the Humvees were folding up like pop cans,” Hughes said. “It was a really big deal until they started putting the different metals in.”

Today, Hughes and Young work side by side here at the last U.S. smelter that makes the high-purity aluminum used in armored vehicles, sons of a region where jobs in the metal industry, ubiquitous for decades, have become a rapidly disappearing way of life. Hawesville’s Century Aluminum Co. plant constantly teeters on the edge of shutting down, typical in an industry where a glut of cheap metal from China has forced many plants to close.

But hope came to Hawesville in April, when President Trump announced that his administration was considering restricting imports of foreign-forged aluminum in the name of national security, arguing that domestic plants needed to be protected to ensure that the country can make its own war machines. “When that come out, there was a buzz in the area. You could just see the excitement on people’s faces,” said Hughes, 34.

A decision by the Trump administration to use national security to protect an industry would be among the most dramatic — and risky — moves in the president’s trade agenda, which seeks to limit what he regards as unfair foreign competition. While intervention could be a boon for Hawesville, it could raise prices for other customers and companies — including the federal government, which ultimately buys the armored vehicles and fighter jets made from the aluminum.

And amid the debate over how far the government should go to protect certain industries in the era of global competition and technological change, some trade and industry experts are questioning whether the administration is simply using national security as an excuse for economic protectionism. The decision — based on a Commerce Department investigation — will come out in June, Trump said in a tweet Saturday night. “Will take more action if necessary,” he wrote.

The debate over aluminum’s future in the United States comes after 20 years of China flooding the global market with the natural resource, depressing prices to a level where few U.S. companies can compete. The United States has gone from having 23 operational aluminum smelters in 1993 to just five today, with only two running at full capacity.


How Chinese overcapacity hits American workers

ALUMINIUM smelting is sweaty work. Inside the Hawesville plant of Century, an American aluminium producer, it can get so hot that the workers lie outside in the blazing summer sun to cool off. Dennis Harbath, the plant manager, oversees operations. He is worried about the workers. “They have mental fatigue,” he says.

The source of the stress is a number scrawled on a wall in white chalk. That is the dollar price of a tonne of aluminium, set on the London Metal Exchange (LME). The workers keep track of it on their smartphones. Their wives ask about it, too. “It’s hard to stay on the LME rollercoaster when trying to support a family,” says one.

A few years ago, they weren’t particularly aware of the price, says Andy Meserve, the local union president. That changed after 2015, when the price plunged to below $1,500 per tonne, prompting Century to shut down 60% of the plant’s capacity and lay off hundreds of workers. The whole industry was affected. Of America’s five remaining aluminium smelters, only two are running at full capacity. There were 14 in 2011.

Dips and dives are always a feature of commodity markets. A fall in American primary production could be part of a long-term trend towards recycled aluminium. Coal powers aluminium production; workers complain of being strangled by environmental regulation. But Mr Harbath thinks something fishy is going on. Why, he asks, did his plant have to curtail capacity when its energy costs are lower than in China?

The Trump administration is suspicious, too. On April 26th it triggered an investigation into the aluminium industry to defend it against “unfair trade practices and other abuses”. A public hearing on June 22nd will give the industry the chance to air its grievances. (A similar investigation into steel is looming.)

There is some substance to the worries. The Chinese government doles out cheap loans to its industry, encouraging overcapacity. Its output has soared in recent years. Since China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001, its aluminium production has risen from 14% of the global total to 54% in 2016.

Its size gives it huge influence over the global price, which fell in 2015 when Chinese demand did not keep pace with its gargantuan supply. Exporting overcapacity makes for better domestic politics than cutting it, given the potential for job losses. Without production curbs, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch predict the global aluminium market could be oversupplied by 8% by 2020.

The Trump administration is trying to seem tough. Its official investigation invokes Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which allows the president to impose trade restrictions if he suspects imports are threatening national security. When workers at the Hawesville plant saw the news of Mr Trump’s investigation, the plant hummed with excitement. Perhaps the action would restore those lost jobs.

To them, the link between aluminium and national security seemed natural. Wilbur Ross, Mr Trump’s commerce secretary, mentioned that there was only one American smelter left that makes high-purity metal of the sort that the armed forces need. That one plant is in Hawesville; Messrs Harbath and Meserve both brim with pride when they describe their high-purity aluminium. A sliver of different metal the size of a child’s finger can throw off the blend of an aluminium pod with the capacity of a small swimming pool. “It’s as close as you can get to marrying art and science,” boasts Mr Harbath.

They worry that foreign competition is crushing the life out of American supply. Closed smelters take more than a year to restart, and few ever do. Of the workers laid off at the Hawesville plant in October 2015, 200 had stayed on a recall list, poised to come back if the plant returned to full capacity. Now there are only 112 on the list; 88 have drifted into retirement or other careers. Once there are no more American smelters left, the workers warn that foreigners will charge whatever they want.