The Aluminum Association (AA) recently highlighted how exclusions granted under Section 232 tariffs on aluminum cans sheet imports may severely injure the domestic industry.
In a letter addressed to US Department of Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, the AA noted that until September 2020, Commerce had granted product exclusions for about 8.2bn lbs (3.71mn mt) of material to be imported by US downstream producers, exceeding annual demand by 263pc. In essence, if all importers were to exercise their exclusion permits, they would have enough raw material to produce downstream products for the next two years.
The AA pointed out that these tariffs were established to avoid this kind of situation and deter foreign producers from undercutting prices of domestic US aluminum producers. However, the current exclusions take away the level playing field meant to be created by Sec 232 tariffs as domestic inventories may build up if imports surge again. This would nullify the 96pc supply that domestic producers make to meet demand.
Tom Dobbins, the president and chief executive officer of the AA, has asked Ross in the letter to issue a final ruling rectifying the Section 232 exclusions to protect aluminum producers in the US.