Calling out section 232 tariffs a failure, US-based Aluminium Extruders Council (AEC) has written to the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross to re-examine the policy. China is the biggest threat to the aluminium industry in the US and levying section 232 tariffs on imports from across the globe, has done little to help the domestic industry, according to AEC.
The tariff introduced as a safeguard measure in the year 2017 has had an opposite impact than desired, stated AEC. Due to the tariff on primary aluminium, extruders in the US are paying more for the metal than any other country. Most countries, to avoid section 232 tariffs, add value to the product before exporting.
Adding to the woes of aluminium producers in the US is the closure of Alcoa’s Intalco Works in Ferndale, the only primary billet supplier west of Mississippi. US producers are dependent on imports of billets. China, on the other hand, continues to build excess capacity flooding global markets with the material. If unchecked, the subsidies and benefits given to the Chinese producers by the government could allow these metal manufacturers to corner the global market.