Aluminum is an international metal , although its roots run deep in our country. Aluminum has had exponential international development, mainly in production areas where electricity is competitive and available in quantity such as Iceland, Norway, Canada, Russia, the Middle East, China, etc.
In 2020, China produced more than 60% of the world's primary aluminum production and contributed to an over-capacity supply of primary aluminum at the global level with the consequences of decreases in global metal prices and dumping situations. hardly tenable for European countries.
International trade is a fundamental source of growth and innovation for the global economy. It is also a force for promoting our standards and our assets at the international level. To support the development of an aluminum industry sustainable and competitive on our continent, we are fully committed to approving free and fair trade regimes that respect WTO rules and to advocate for a level playing field between operators in the sector around the world.
In an unbalanced international context as we live it today, Aluminum France supports the maintenance of trade balance tools through the tariff and non-tariff mechanisms for the aluminum industry at European level.
Our priorities: free and fair trade
The global aluminum market is currently facing major challenges. China is increasingly distorting the market with cheap and subsidized products; the recent unilateral policies of the United States (between 2016 and 2020) further complicate world trade. Brexit, challenges to the implementation of WTO rules and a wave of new free trade agreements between the main economies are also having an impact on free and fair trade for French aluminum producers. Improving trade rules and balancing the rules of the game are essential to restore normal market conditions so that all producers can compete in a fair and transparent manner.
Chinese excess capacity is the source of market distortions in the aluminum industry. China has flooded the world market with cheap, carbon-intensive aluminum, the result of years of excess aluminum production combined with declining domestic demand in the country. Steps should be taken to prevent China from overwhelming the European market with cheap aluminum.
Thanks to appropriate trade policies, France must guarantee free and fair trade and fair conditions of competition for the European aluminum industry.
The European Union should adopt an appropriate trade policy, including trade defense instruments to maintain a trade balance .
Current WTO rules do not cope with trade realities and need to be updated.
Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy
The French aluminum industry is innovative; a leading employer and a major contributor to the ambitions of COP21. However, it faces threats of unfair competition. Dumping and state aid undermine Europe's trade defense and seriously undermine its ability to protect jobs, innovative businesses and entire industrial value chains.
The OECD report " Measuring Distortions in International Markets: The Aluminum Value Chain " highlights how powerful gold-market stocks have been responsible for recent increases in primary aluminum production capacity in China, with impacts throughout the value chain. The OECD has shown that the support also offers significant benefits for downstream production (rolling, spinning). In total, these companies received up to USD 70 billion in various forms of support during the period 2013-2017. Notably, 85% of the grants analyzed went to just five Chinese companies.
Aluminum France is in favor of free trade , but it must be fair. Effective trade defense instruments - including strong and predictable anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation - are essential to ensure free and fair trade.
The European aluminum industry welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to propose new instruments concerning foreign subsidies and calls on the Commission to fight effectively against the distorting effects linked to foreign subsidies in the EU's single market. EU. It must help create a level playing field for the aluminum industry in Europe and in France.