Unified aluminium industries call for creation of North American Aluminum Trade Committee

The Aluminum Association, Instituto Mexicano del Aluminio and the Aluminium Association of Canada called for the creation of a North American Aluminum Trade Committee (NAATC) in a letter to trade officials in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The letter came ahead of a summit in Ottawa – the second trilateral meeting for the North American industries in the last 6 months – highlighting the importance of fair aluminium trade within North America and strengthened trade enforcement.

“The free and fair trade of aluminium within North America has benefited our respective industries and the hundreds of thousands of well-paying manufacturing jobs they represent. We stand together in our continued commitment to the USMCA framework to set the conditions through which aluminium can be freely and fairly traded in the region. Looking ahead to the 2026 review of the USMCA, we are confident that the issues we have identified can and will be addressed to ensure continued cooperative trade in the region,” the letter notes.

The North American aluminum industry is calling for several actions ahead of the USMCA review:

  • Creation of the North American Aluminum Trade Committee: A North American Aluminum Trade Committee (NAATC) would help to formalize consultation and collaboration between the Canadian, Mexican and U.S. aluminium industries and their respective governments. The group would bring together government, industry and nongovernmental stakeholders to discuss issues and quickly identify and address challenges in the domestic market. This activity is essential to seek reduction and elimination of remaining distortions in North America driven by unfair aluminium trade.
  • Increased regional aluminium import monitoring: We are encouraged by recent commitments made by our governments to increase monitoring and data transparency in the aluminium trade. Under the terms of the agreement removing Section 232 tariffs, each country agreed to “establish an agreed-upon process for monitoring aluminium and steel trade between them.” In subsequent years, both the United States and Canada have stood up new or enhanced aluminium import monitoring programs, but Mexico has not. We urge the Mexican government to join the U.S. and Canada by honoring its commitment for an import monitoring system.
  • Strengthened regional trade enforcement: Across the region, it is essential that we work to combat the unfair and illegal trade of aluminium which has challenged the global industry in recent years. Both the United States and Mexico were the victims of a significant aluminium transshipment scheme in the mid-2010s in which massive volumes of Chinese aluminium billet was disguised as a different product to avoid hundreds of millions in tariffs. The United States and Mexico have also pursued successful antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) cases against unfairly traded aluminium from China and other countries over the past several years. Continued vigilance and enforcement of global trade laws in the sector is needed.
  • Full support of the aluminum sustainability agenda: Our governments must continue to support industry in its pursuit of decarbonization efforts and the broader aluminium sustainability agenda. This support may include research for next generation production techniques and increased recycling efforts. Aluminium produced in North America is some of the cleanest in the world, with carbon emissions for an average pound of aluminium made in the region declining more than 50% since 1991. Aluminium is vital to the green energy transition in transportation, power generation, construction, packaging and more.

In 2019, the aluminum associations of North America jointly supported the removal of Section 232 tariffs on aluminium imports within the region. Following the removal of the tariffs, the USMCA was formally implemented in 2020. The agreement is subject to a mandatory 6-year review for potential renewal in 2026. The early stages of this review will begin as early as this year.

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