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Trump Gets Aluminum Report

President Donald Trump has three months to determine how far he will go to protect U.S. aluminum producers.

Trump could levy tariffs or impose quotas if he were to determine that doing so would be in the interest of national security.

Federal investigators for the Department of Commerce submitted the results of a nine-month probe into aluminum imports to the White House on Jan. 19. Trump has 90 days from then to act.

The Aluminum Association urged the president to adhere to four principles in any remedial actions that he might take.

  • Address Chinese overcapacity

  • Not interfere with relationships with critical trading partner countries, including Canada and the European Union

  • Help domestic producers and fabricators

  • Adopt a monitoring system for imports

“We expect that the report will recognize the significant role the aluminum industry plays in ensuring our nation’s security and welcome the opportunity to engage the administration on an appropriate remedy that will benefit the entire aluminum value chain,” Aluminum Association President & CEO Heidi Brock said, in the trade group’s response to the Section 232 Report on aluminum imports being submitted to Trump.

Investigators began probing aluminum imports in April 2017 to determine if they posed a threat to national security.

Though Trump has promised to protect aluminum workers from imports, particularly from Chinese overcapacity, some pro-business officials in the administration are urging restraint to avoid a run-up in metal prices or disruptions to U.S. allies, Reuters reported in an article on the aluminum probe findings

“Critics say using national security to erect steel and aluminum tariffs could trigger a trade war with China, undermine the global rules-based trading system and hurt America’s friends more than China, as well as damage global growth prospects,” David Lawder wrote for Reuters.

A Bloomberg article on the aluminum study reported, “Beijing has pushed back against U.S. talk of raising trade barriers, while many American manufacturers and metal producers have urged the White House to step in on their behalf.”

The U.S. aluminum industry supports 161,000 direct jobs and more than 700,000 jobs when indirect and induced impacts are considered, according to the Aluminum Association. The association estimates that the industry creates $75 billion in direct economic impact and $186 billion in total impact annually, around 1 percent of U.S. GDP.

Image Property of Alcoa, Courtesy of The International Aluminum Institute


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We started 20 years ago as Web4Minds, a software development firm that provides custom solutions to meet our clients’ needs. One such client came to us four years ago to develop software to manage their scrapyards.

Upon receiving feedback from the client and working with dozens of others, we realized that we had created a product that stood out among the competition, so we brought our solution to the marketplace as Scrapyard Pro. It is now used at recycling centers across the country, by clients ranging from single-location owners to regional operators.