Commenting on the plans to introduce tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US, Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead said: “The proposed 10% tariff on aluminium entering the US is regrettable. While the US is not a major export market for UK-produced aluminium, indiscriminate tariffs are a hindrance to free trade, and do little to secure a ‘level playing field’ for global commerce.
On the threat of the proposed tariffs starting a global trade war, with automotive exports to the US being an early target, Mr Ashmead added: “The use of aluminium in cars for lightweighting is increasing, especially for premium brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. The US is a major market for these brands, and the imposition of tariffs on cars entering the US would be a retrograde step, risking a trade war that would benefit no-one.
“The Aluminium Federation works closely on such matters with fellow trade body European Aluminium and, in the UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. We are monitoring developments, and await the detail of the proposed US import tariffs.”
Novelis, supplier of automotive aluminium sheet to Ford, and the biggest buyer of aluminium in the US, says the proposed tariffs don’t ‘get at the core issue’ of Chinese overcapacity in primary aluminium production, and will only increase costs for consumers.
- The ‘Presidential Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States’, issued on March 8, 2018, may be viewed here.