WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Secretary of State Antony Blinken supporting the Biden administration’s efforts “to support domestic aluminum production and American workers” and “efforts to continue to defend against unfettered imports and maintain the efficacy of the Section 232 program, while also addressing the EU’s concerns on broader trade policy to tackle the excess capacity crisis that necessitated the Section 232 program.”
Last month, the Biden administration said it was considering replacing the current Section 232 tariffs on aluminum from the EU with a Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQ) for EU aluminum. CPA supports this action and argues that the U.S. government “cannot return to the unhealthy belief that ad hoc anti-dumping or countervailing duties are sufficient for these vital sectors.” In the letter, CPA documents a 2018 report from the Department of Commerce on the effects of aluminum imports on U.S. national security.
“Managing import penetration in aluminum, in particular, remains vital,” the letter states. “The four findings made by the Department of Commerce in its report recommending the Section 232 tariffs remain true today:1) that aluminum is essential to our national security; 2) that we do not maintain necessary strategic stockpiles; 3) that the quantity of imports adversely impacts the financial sustainability of domestic production; and 4) global excess aluminum capacity is a threat to domestic production.”
After reports that the Biden administration was considering replacing the current Section 232 tariffs on aluminum with TRQs, Washington special interests have begun to lobby against protecting this domestic industry that is critical to U.S. economic and national security.
“The evidence clearly demonstrates that the U.S. government’s use of Section 232 to manage import penetration has benefited our national and economic security through stabilized domestic aluminum production,” the letter affirms. “And yet, those who stand to profit from unfettered imports are relentlessly attacking this successful policy. Regrettably, multinational corporations – even those with significant investment in the United States – will too often put their short-term quarterly profit margins over the interests of Americans… The Biden administration should thus ignore efforts to undermine the Department of Commerce’s plans to support domestic aluminum manufacturing and the Americans that work in this critical industry.”
Read the full text of the letter.