After the announcement of the European Commission to impose safeguard measures on certain metallurgical products, Aluminum France & European Aluminum ask the Commission to watch with vigilance the increases in imports and to defend its industry against an influx of imports of aluminum if necessary.

“The safeguard measures in the steel sector send a strong signal: the Commission is ready to take decisive action to protect European industries against unfair and unfair trade practices. We hope that the Commission will have the courage to put in place adequate safeguard measures to compensate for any negative impact if the surveillance data collected since mid-May shows a threat to the aluminum industry ”, commented Gerd Götz , Managing Director of European Aluminum.

The European and French aluminum industry may be affected by a reorientation of aluminum from third countries targeted by the US measures under Article 232. This reorientation could lead to the additional entry into Europe of 35% of semi-finished aluminum products, which could create unfair competition for French and European producers who are already under significant pressure due to China’s growing overcapacity in the industry. primary aluminum and semi-finished products

European Aluminum and Aluminum France have been very involved in the need to remedy Chinese overcapacity, which is the root cause of imbalances in the world market. China’s total overcapacity is currently around 10 million tonnes, nearly 5 times the EU’s total primary aluminum production. In the first quarter of 2018, Chinese imports of flat-rolled products to the EU increased by 37% compared to the same period last year. Likewise, there was a 22% increase in imports of extruded products during the first quarter. Depending on the product, the shares of Chinese imports of extruded products vary from 31% to 75% of all imports into the EU. While the global problem of Chinese overcapacity should be addressed at the G20 level through the establishment of a multilateral and governmental Global Forum on Aluminum Overcapacity, safeguard measures may be needed to rebalance the EU market to short term.

“Safeguard measures must take into account our flows with partner European countries (outside Europe of the 27) so as not to destabilize strategic commercial ecosystems not impacted by Chinese imports”, adds Cyrille Mounier, General Delegate of Aluminum France.

“We expect growing demand for our metal in several strategic application areas including low carbon mobility, recyclable packaging and energy efficient buildings, but European producers cannot fully take advantage of this positive trend due to Chinese overcapacity. If we do not defend ourselves against unfair competition, Europe risks losing a strategic industry essential to its transition to a low-carbon economy. Our highly interconnected value chains could start to deteriorate and our R&D could relocate. The outlook is bright for our industry and its customers, so Europe must be ready to act with adequate trade defense measures as soon as necessary ”, concluded Mr Götz.

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