COLUMN-Aluminium sector seeks way to tackle China-induced instability – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – March 23, 2017)

LONDON, March 23 The political heat is rising in the aluminium market, with a trio of industry bodies calling on the G20 to address global market imbalances resulting from China’s burgeoning output.

“China’s state-sponsored support is contributing to an unsustainable structural overcapacity that will impact growth and contribute to heightened instability until it is addressed.”

So wrote the heads of the U.S. Aluminum Association, its cross-Atlantic peer European Aluminium and the Aluminium Association of Canada in a March 15 open letter to the Group of 20 leading economies. What they want is the sort of global forum created to discuss steel overcapacity at last year’s G20 summit.

The charges against China’s leviathan aluminium sector are largely the same as those against its equally huge steel industry. “Both the massive increase in production and the excess capacity have had a downward effect on the prices, generating significant economic and employment losses for our respective producers and economies,” the three associations said.

As with steel, trade tensions are rising with the United States taking the lead. It has launched a broad complaint about Chinese aluminium subsidies with the World Trade Organization, while the Aluminum Association has filed a petition seeking anti-dumping duties on aluminium foil.

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