Big Aluminum says the aluminum tariff won't work

Even big aluminum doesn't want Trump's tariffs.The Aluminum Association told the president in an open letter t...

Posted: Mar 6, 2018 2:42 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2018 2:42 PM

Even big aluminum doesn't want Trump's tariffs.

The Aluminum Association told the president in an open letter that it is "deeply concerned" by the damage a global aluminum tariff could inflict on US jobs and production. The association represents American aluminum companies.

Last week, Trump said that he plans to impose a 10% tariff on all aluminum imports and a 25% tariff on steel. It's not clear whether certain countries or regions will be excluded from the exemptions.

"We fear that the proposed tariff may do more harm than good," said Heidi Brock, head of the Aluminum Association, in the letter.

Instead, Brock recommended the Trump administration enact tariffs on China and exclude trading partners, such as Canada and the European Union.

Brock pointed to China's overcapacity - production that exceeds demand and lowers global prices - as the main threat to US aluminum makers.

She added that a general tariff could hurt American manufacturers that don't make raw aluminum but rely on aluminum to make their products, such as aluminum foil.

Related: The biggest thing Trump gets wrong on trade

Far more Americans work in those types of downstream companies than in aluminum manufacturing.

According to the Aluminum Association, 161,000 Americans work in aluminum production, and another 551,000 employees work in related fields. Almost all of them rely on imported aluminum.

The United States imports more than 90% of the 5.5 million tons of aluminum it uses each year, so a 10% tariff would be hard on many American companies.

"The tariffs are basically saying: The way you were doing things before - we're going to make it more expensive," said Emily Blanchard, a professor who researches trade at Dartmouth's business school.

Other groups have raised an alarm over the aluminum tariffs.

Jim McGreevy, CEO of The Beer Institute, said a tariff would cost the beverage industry millions of dollars and lead to thousands of layoffs.

Even Hershey, which uses aluminum foil to wrap its chocolate Kisses and steel to build plants, said the policy could "have a negative impact on the entire U.S. economy."

-- CNN's Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Kemper29015
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Jefferson2439
Benton2283
Franklin1933
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19752350
Mobile13449292
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Madison792778
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Lee592760
Baldwin552650
Marshall396143
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Houston292021
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Walker231984
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Franklin178129
Autauga177325
Russell17633
Lauderdale172333
Colbert166626
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Chilton158830
Jackson158111
Covington140327
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Clarke110016
Marion96829
Butler91339
Barbour8857
Winston74512
Marengo72420
Pickens66614
Bibb65610
Lowndes65427
Randolph65413
Hale64428
Geneva6344
Lawrence62123
Cherokee61213
Bullock60614
Monroe5908
Clay5878
Washington55913
Perry5416
Crenshaw54032
Conecuh53611
Wilcox53211
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Lamar3702
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
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