Congressional Aluminum Caucus Meets with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Discuss Tariffs

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Washington, May 9, 2018 | comments

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Aluminum Caucus, Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN-08), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH-06), and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02) and other members of the Congressional Aluminum Caucus met with U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to discuss the Section 232 on aluminum. In this meeting, the Co-Chairs cautioned Secretary Ross against a blanket, one-size-fits-all approach, on aluminum tariffs.

“Chinese aluminum overcapacity has had a negative impact on the global aluminum market – forcing U.S. companies to scale back their operations or even close their doors. I applaud the Trump Administration for working to address China’s unfair trade practices, but I urge the Administration to take a comprehensive look at a targeted approach when it comes to aluminum tariffs. It is imperative to address this issue without harming our integrated aluminum supply chain, which is why I support permanent exemptions, without quotas for our responsible trading partners,” said Dr. Bucshon.

“Aluminum producers in my district and all across the nation are at an unfair competitive disadvantage as a result of market distorting practices by China that are contributing to global excess capacity. These actions threaten local businesses, jobs and whole communities. We need to focus our attention on the source of the problem instead of hurting our closest allies and responsible trading partners through a reckless trade war that will raise prices on consumers and result in hardworking Americans losing their jobs. I will continue to work closely with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in Congress and the administration to find a responsible path forward,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene.

“I sincerely appreciate Secretary Ross’s willingness to meet with the House Aluminum Caucus today. Our conversation focused on the need to execute trade actions that will benefit all aspects of our aluminum industry moving forward, trade issues such as focusing our efforts on Chinese aluminum over capacity issues. I applaud this Administration’s effort to grow this vital domestic industry, and believe that with regulatory reform efforts underway at the EPA, DOE, and other agencies, along with a targeted trade approach, all sectors of America’s aluminum industry will grow,” said Congressman Bill Johnson.

“Iowa is home to thousands of jobs in the aluminum industry and it is important that we work to protect these critical businesses from bad international actors like China who have negatively affected the American aluminum industry,” said Loebsack. “There is a smart way to move forward, but instead of generalized, across the board actions, the United States must take a nuanced approach to address these complex trade issues. It is critical that we support and protect these jobs and any trade enforcement action must ensure that Iowa’s farmers and manufacturers don’t become the target of retaliation.”

The Congressional Aluminum Caucus is composed of approximately 50 members of the House of Representatives with an interest in supporting aluminum jobs in their districts. The United States aluminum industry supports more than 700,000 direct and indirect jobs, and the vast majority of the jobs in the U.S. aluminum industry are in value-added midstream and downstream production processes like aluminum rolling, extruding and recycling.

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