The Aluminum Association has argued that primary aluminum shipments from Canada to the US do not, in fact, pose a threat to the US domestic aluminum industry.
The association noted in a statement that current volumes of primary aluminum imports from Canada are consistent with long-term trends, which include those before Sec 232 tariffs were imposed on aluminum products.
Citing a recent article written by Tom Dobbins, president and chief executive officer of the Aluminum Association, the statement said Sec 232 tariffs failed to combat overwhelmingly large aluminum shipments sent from China to the US, but they were mostly flat-rolled material, which is different from what is imported from Canada.
Dobbins had said the current dynamic between the US and China resulted in a 6pc decline in demand this year compared to 2019, even before the pandemic. Moreover, over the past five years, aluminum capacity in China has grown by 60pc because the metal is being exported to third-party countries before making its way to the US, the association alleged. Despite the Sec 232 tariffs, China exported 5.14mn mt of semi-fabricated aluminum to the US in 2019, nearly as much as it did in 2018 before the tariffs were imposed.
In comparison, the share of primary aluminum imports from Canada averaged 64.6pc from 1990-2019, and 64.7pc this year, indicating a stable trend, the association said, adding that these trends followed the demand for primary aluminum in the US market.