The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) expresses appreciation for the leadership shown in addressing the “serious threats” faced by the US aluminum extrusion industry and its workers from untariffed aluminum imports. As per insights, unfair regulations have led to an 82 percent surge in foreign imports, resulting in a market penetration of over 25 percent, the highest in over a decade.
The Department of Commerce’s (DOC) exclusion process permits tariff-free import of foreign extruded aluminum products if they can’t be immediately produced in the US in sufficient quantity or quality. AEC argues that while the intent is reasonable, the requirements unfairly burden American extruders.
Custom manufacturing necessitates product dimensions and specifications for tooling acquisition, which can be a time-consuming process. Surprisingly, the DOC grants importers exemptions akin to mass producers, disregarding the challenges faced by US aluminum extruders. Due to difficulties in meeting the DOC’s Aluminum 232 exclusion criteria, a “General Approved Exclusion” (GAE) process was implemented, automatically granting importers of foreign-made aluminum extrusions tariff exemptions without even applying for them. The AEC urges the DOC to revoke the GAE for aluminum extrusions and revise the objection criteria accordingly.
In 2018, rising aluminum imports threatened national security, leading to a 10 percent tariff imposition. This resulted in a 31 percent decline in imports and a nearly billion-dollar increase in domestic production between 2018-2021. While the tariffs proved effective for primary aluminum producers, domestic aluminum extruders remain insufficiently protected due to the DOC’s broad tariff exclusion rules.