Column: Friend or foe? Canadian imports split U.S. aluminium sector – by Andy Bell (Reuters U.K. – June 19, 2020)

LONDON (Reuters) – A surge in Canadian aluminium imports “is destroying what remains of the United States industry”. The dramatic warning comes from the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA), which represents Century Aluminum and Magnitude 7 Metals, two of the last three remaining primary producers in the United States.

The solution, they argue in a May 27 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is to revoke Canada’s exemption from import tariffs.

The U.S. Aluminum Association (AA), which has a much larger membership including the country’s third producer Alcoa, vehemently disagrees.

“The Great Canadian Aluminum Distraction” has diverted attention from the sector’s more pressing issues with Chinese overcapacity and exports, it claims.

This uncivil war of words has fueled a sharp turnaround in the Midwest aluminium premium as the regional market reassesses the prospect of renewed tariffs on the largest-volume supplier to the U.S. market.

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