US WTO Filing on China’s aluminium overcapacity: Response from the Aluminium Association of Canada

Montreal, January 12, 2017 — The Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC) intends to review the United States filing at the WTO regarding Chinese subsidies to its aluminium industry, and views the focus on the issue as a positive step.


“We welcome the use of the WTO dispute resolution system to initiate a fact-based examination of the concerns of the global aluminum industry and its workers regarding the significant oversupply of aluminum production in China”, said Jean Simard, President and CEO of the AAC, adding that “the issues here are complex and the process is lengthy. The AAC will therefore take time in order to assess its implications for our Canadian industry”.


While China’s overcapacity has and continues to have a considerable impact on the aluminium market, a fact-based examination is in the interests of all WTO members that participate in the aluminium industry in keeping with a free market, including Canadian, American and Chinese producers. “In the long term, ensuring that all WTO members adhere to the agreed rules on subsidies is in the best interest of those producers who are able to compete without government subsidies – whether in the US, Canada or China. It is in that spirit that we will continue working with the relevant instances and authorities in order to ensure a level playing field for all parties involved”, added Mr. Simard.

Canada’s primary industry has since its original development been an integral part of the North American aluminium industrial value chain with a large part of its annual output exported to the USA, year after year.

For more than a century, Canadian and American aluminium workers and businesses have worked in a seamless way to sustain the North American value chain, benefiting from, and, providing benefits to, both sides of the border.

From smelters powered entirely from hydroelectricity, and billions of dollars invested in plant modernization, today’s 9000 + Canadian workers provide a low-carbon, responsibly produced aluminium to the 150,000 American workers employed in the value-added downstream processing industry.

On top of its clean hydroelectricity, massive investments in ongoing plant modernization and operational efficiency have lowered Canadian smelters’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the lowest in the world.


In perspective

  • Canada produced 3.2 million tons of aluminium in 2016.
  • China exported more than 3 million tons during the same period. 
  • Most of the aluminium produced in Canada is exported to the United States.
  • This primary industry accounts for more than 9,000 jobs in Canada.
  • With an emissions ratio of 2 tons of CO2 per ton of aluminium in 2016, Canada’s aluminium industry boasts the smallest carbon footprint in the world.
  • With an emissions ratio of 17 tons of CO2 per ton of aluminium in 2016, China’s aluminium industry has the largest carbon footprint in the world.


About the Aluminium Association of Canada

The Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC) is a non-profit organization representing three Canadian world-class aluminium producers: Alcoa, Alouette, and Rio Tinto operating ten smelters in Canada and employing over 9,000 workers.




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