“Financial subsidies, primarily in the form of concessional lending, are one of the principle drivers of the capacity buildout,” said the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA) in a white paper released this week, adding that these actions have led to “a race to the bottom at the expense of producers in countries that do not provide subsidies.”
The OECD report found that from 2013 to 2017, China, India, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Norway, Australia and Canada ramped up subsidies to their domestic aluminum producers. During this period, about $12.7 billion in subsidies were spent by those countries, with the largest being China, Canada and the GCC.
“Without these subsidies, global capacity and production would be lower and prices higher allowing market-based players to compete on a more level playing field,” APAA’s white paper said.
The trade association said the OECD report’s findings support the continued application of U.S. Commerce Department Section 232 aluminum tariffs across all import sources and countries.
“However, if countries are granted wholesale exemptions from the [Section 232] program, that relief will be undone quickly, and the restarts will be terminated as quickly as they started. The U.S. industry is already experiencing a surge of primary aluminum imports from Australia because they were completely excluded from the relief,” the APAA white paper said.