CLOSINGS: View Closings

Big Aluminum says the aluminum tariff won't work

Even big aluminum doesn't want Trump's tariffs.The Aluminum Association told the president in an open letter t...

Posted: Mar 6, 2018 2:42 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2018 2:42 PM

Even big aluminum doesn't want Trump's tariffs.

The Aluminum Association told the president in an open letter that it is "deeply concerned" by the damage a global aluminum tariff could inflict on US jobs and production. The association represents American aluminum companies.

Last week, Trump said that he plans to impose a 10% tariff on all aluminum imports and a 25% tariff on steel. It's not clear whether certain countries or regions will be excluded from the exemptions.

"We fear that the proposed tariff may do more harm than good," said Heidi Brock, head of the Aluminum Association, in the letter.

Instead, Brock recommended the Trump administration enact tariffs on China and exclude trading partners, such as Canada and the European Union.

Brock pointed to China's overcapacity - production that exceeds demand and lowers global prices - as the main threat to US aluminum makers.

She added that a general tariff could hurt American manufacturers that don't make raw aluminum but rely on aluminum to make their products, such as aluminum foil.

Related: The biggest thing Trump gets wrong on trade

Far more Americans work in those types of downstream companies than in aluminum manufacturing.

According to the Aluminum Association, 161,000 Americans work in aluminum production, and another 551,000 employees work in related fields. Almost all of them rely on imported aluminum.

The United States imports more than 90% of the 5.5 million tons of aluminum it uses each year, so a 10% tariff would be hard on many American companies.

"The tariffs are basically saying: The way you were doing things before - we're going to make it more expensive," said Emily Blanchard, a professor who researches trade at Dartmouth's business school.

Other groups have raised an alarm over the aluminum tariffs.

Jim McGreevy, CEO of The Beer Institute, said a tariff would cost the beverage industry millions of dollars and lead to thousands of layoffs.

Even Hershey, which uses aluminum foil to wrap its chocolate Kisses and steel to build plants, said the policy could "have a negative impact on the entire U.S. economy."

-- CNN's Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
29° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 20°
Albert Lea
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 25°
Austin
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 28°
Charles City
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 24°
Rochester
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 20°
Nice on Friday, weekend storm brewing
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Finding ways to save during the pandemic

Image

Churches prepare to celebrate Easter in non-traditional ways

Image

Mason City company switching to production of face shields

${item.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Snow is on the way, but how much?

Image

Options for breaking a car lease

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Friday

Image

Job outlook during pandemic may be less than desperate

Image

Hearts for Hope

Image

False negative tests raising red flags

Image

Make your own disinfectant wipes

Community Events