American aluminium trade group The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) released a statement on Monday calling upon the United States Department of Commerce to “pause and reevaluate” its use of measures to create broad exclusions from the Trump-era Section 232 aluminium tariffs.
In the statement, the AEC takes the Commerce Department to task for its adoption of “generally accepted exclusions” (GAE) that carves out exclusions for applicants whose petition is not contested by the aluminium industry during the Commerce Department’s application process.
The AEC also made clear its objection to the way in which GAEs are handled, as they assert that it does not give the domestic aluminium industry the opportunity to show to the Commerce Department how a particular applicant’s imports harm the industry.
The Council’s objection to the Commerce Department’s new exclusion category is substantial due to its position in the aluminium industry. The AEC boasts over 120 members that operate hundreds of aluminium extrusion plants in 35 US states. Among the products made by AEC’s members are aluminium extrusion products that are critical for defense, including fighter jets and armored vehicles. AEC members also produce critical infrastructure, including for bridge and infrastructure projects, train bodies and rail cars, aviation and vessels, and renewable energy production.
The AEC was at the forefront of efforts to encourage the implementation of trade barriers against aluminium imports from the People’s Republic of China over the past several years. It estimates that the measures have saved at least 800 million pounds of aluminium extrusion per year from being lost to state-subsidized competition from China.