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The EU must respond to unjustified U.S. aluminium tariffs via WTO

Brussels, 31 May 2018 – European Aluminium regrets the U.S. decision to impose a 10% tariff on aluminium products from Europe starting from 1 June 2018. The European aluminium industry rejects the assumption that its exports are a threat to U.S. national security and calls on the EU to launch a WTO trade dispute over the unjustified measures.
“As we stressed in the last months, European aluminium exports to the U.S., given both their quantity and characteristics, do not pose any threat to US national security and should have been permanently exempted from the tariffs. We are very concerned that these unjustified unilateral measures put at risk the many industrial clusters, innovation hubs and transatlantic synergies we share with the U.S. Even worse, we face the risk of being harmed by a redirection of aluminium from third countries that are targeted by the U.S. measures. This redirection could see an additional 35 percent of semi-fabricated aluminium products entering Europe, which creates unfair competition for European producers and will be particularly challenging for SMEs,” Director General Gerd Götz commented.
The industry association, a leading advocate for a global aluminium market based on multilateral rules, counts on the EU Commission to defend free, fair and rules-based trade by immediately contesting the tariffs through WTO and implementing safeguard measures if proven necessary.
“Not only will the tariffs will have unintended negative consequences for our integrated aluminium supply chains, but they also fail to address the cause of the distortions in the global aluminium market: the unsustainable increase of overcapacity in China in both the primary and semi-fabricated aluminium sectors. We hope the U.S. will realise that this global challenge can only be managed effectively through a long-term solution based on multilateral rules and common enforcement like a Global Aluminium Forum within G20. With the G7 in Canada fast approaching, we must now seize the opportunity to get a political endorsement for the creation of a Global Aluminium Forum ahead of the G20 summit in Argentina,” concluded Götz.
Together with its counterparts from Canada, the U.S. and Japan, European Aluminium is organising an exceptional meeting of the aluminium industry from the G7 member countries on June 3rd and 4th in Montreal which will help define a policy-driven roadmap to address overcapacity and non-market policies. Please see here for the preliminary program of the event.
About European Aluminium
European Aluminium, founded in 1981 and based in Brussels, is the voice of the aluminium industry in Europe. We actively engage with decision makers and the wider stakeholder community to promote the outstanding properties of aluminium, secure growth and optimise the contribution our metal can make to meeting Europe’s sustainability challenges. Through environmental and technical expertise, economic and statistical analysis, scientific research, education and sharing of best practices, public affairs and communication activities, European Aluminium promotes the use of aluminium as a material with permanent properties that is part of the solution to achieving sustainable goals, while maintaining and improving the image of the industry, of the material and of its applications among their stakeholders. Our 80+ members include primary aluminium producers; downstream manufacturers of extruded, rolled and cast aluminium; producers of recycled aluminium and national aluminium associations are representing more than 600 plants in 30 European countries. Aluminium products are used in a wide range of markets, including automotive, transport, high-tech engineering, building, construction and packaging.
For further information, please contact:, +32 2 775 63 63