Aluminium Association decries Chinese call to remove tariffs

Chinese Nonferrous Metals Industry Association asks national authorities to remove the provisional export tax.

The Aluminum Association, based in Arlington, Virginia, USA, which represents producers and suppliers to the North American aluminium industry, has expressed concern about a recent call for the removal of a long-standing 15 percent tax on primary aluminium exported from China, according to

The call came from the China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association, asking relevant national authorities to eliminate the provisional export tariff on aluminium.

The Aluminium Association says the unilateral removal of these taxes could have unforeseen impacts on the balance of trade and the global aluminium market.

According to an economic analysis by Brooklyn, New York-based research firm John Dunham & Associates, U.S. aluminium production is responsible for a minimum of 10 600 jobs and $6 billion in economic output. This segment could come under additional pressure should China remove the export taxes on primary aluminium, the Aluminium Association says.


“We strongly encourage the Chinese government to consider both the impact on the global aluminium market as well as the impact on their country’s own sustainability goals before heeding any call to remove export taxes on primary aluminium,” says Aluminium Association President and CEO Heidi Brock.

“During a time when China is making global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it would be a serious mistake to change course on this long-standing policy.”

According to the Aluminium Association, the carbon footprint for primary aluminium produced in North America has declined by nearly 40 percent since 1995, while aluminium produced in China is still among the most carbon intensive in the world. Aluminium smelters in China emit 5 percent of China’s total CO2e emissions, the Aluminium Association claims.

The association has also expressed concern about growth in the share of aluminium imported into the United States. According to Aluminium Association data, from 2012 through 2014, U.S. imports of semi-fabricated aluminium products (semis) from China increased 115 percent, growing China’s share from roughly 14 percent to nearly 28 percent over that period. Imports of Chinese semis totaled 675 million pounds year-to-date, an increase of 75 percent over the same period in 2014.

The increase in volume has driven up China’s market share to account for nearly 36 percent of all aluminium semis imported through June 2015, up from 26 percent last year, the association says. To put this in perspective, total U.S. imports of semis from all countries outside of China are up roughly 11 percent year to date.

The Aluminium Association has recently expressed concerns about misclassified metal coming out of China as well as the removal of a long-time duty on aluminium rod and bar.