A quartet of North American aluminium beverage can trade groups sent an open letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthiser last week, seeking to convince the Trump Administration that a reimposition of Section 232 aluminium tariffs on aluminium imports from Canada would be extraordinarily detrimental to their constituents and U.S. consumers generally.
The letter, which was signed by Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute, Robert Budway, president of the Can Manufacturers Institute, Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of The Aluminum Association, and Amy Hancock, executive vice president and general counsel of the American Beverage Association, pointed out the importance of the dominion’s aluminium producers to United States beverage can manufacturers and the economy as a whole.
“In manufacturing, you need a stable and predictable supply chain. An open border for trading of aluminum between the US and Canada enhances US manufacturing. The US has imported more primary aluminum from Canada than from any other country for decades. A large percentage of those imports are for the benefit of the US aluminum industry itself. Those imports are also critical to many US companies that are important to our economy overall.”
The letter went on to point to the significant strain the market is already under and the effect tariffs would have on the prospects of a timely recovery.
“Constraints on imports of aluminum from our country’s closest ally, whether in the form of a quota or a tariff, will significantly increase the cost of aluminum in this country. This is particularly troublesome given that most of the US aluminum industry opposes such move and US manufacturing is in the difficult position of trying recover from the negative effects of the very fluid situation that is the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Thursday’s letter came the same day another open letter penned by The Aluminum Association was sent to Lighthiser advocating against Section 232 tariffs on Canadian imported aluminium on behalf of mid- and downstream producers in the United States.