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Canada’s aluminium industry supports NAFTA talks to resolve Section 232 tariffs

21 September 2018

Montreal, September 21, 2018 – As the U.S. and Canada continue discussions on a modernized NAFTA, the Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC) urges the governments to use this negotiation process to remove the Section 232 aluminium tariffs on Canada.

“We encourage Canada and the U.S. to reach a modernized NAFTA agreement that provides a full and permanent exemption – without quotas – for aluminium imports from Canada,” said Jean Simard, President and CEO of AAC.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross echoed similar comments in testimony to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee earlier this year: “Our objective is to have them revitalize NAFTA, a NAFTA that helps America. And as part of that, the 232 would logically go away, both as it relates to Canada and as to Mexico.”

As a material of choice within the North American automotive and aerospace value chains, aluminium can only fully and competitively benefit America if it is freely and fairly traded, which is what a renewed trade agreement is all about. Canada’s aluminium supply should be considered as part of the US national security supply chain, as it has been since World War II.

“Section 232 is intended to be used to address threats to the United States’ national security,” according to Simard. “The fact is aluminium from Canada has played a key role in US defence efforts over the past century and would do so again if needed in the future, so it should not be subject to tariffs or quotas. The United States’ aluminium industry, labor movement and end users are united in the view that tariffs on Canadian aluminium should be lifted once the NAFTA negotiations are complete.”

The global aluminium industry has been facing structural problems over the last decade, resulting in a state of global overcapacity. Evidence points towards China for this imbalance in the aluminium sector as a result of its illegal subsidies to primary and semi-fabricated producers of aluminium. To address the issue, a concerted multi-country approach including China is necessary.

The Aluminium Association of Canada will continue to work with the US Aluminum Association as well as the European Aluminium Association towards resolving this systemic situation in a global approach pursuant to the roadmap developed by the industry at the Montreal Aluminium Summit held June 3, 2018.

About the Aluminium Association of Canada 

The Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC) is a non-profit organization representing the three Canadian world-class aluminium producers – Alcoa, Alouette, and Rio Tinto – operating ten smelters in Canada, nine of which are in Quebec, and employing over 8,000 workers.


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Jean Simard

President and CEO, Aluminium Association of Canada

Phone: 514-288-4842, ext. 225