Today, the Aluminum Association released a series of policy documents laying out priorities to support a strong U.S. aluminum industry. The Presidential Policy Brief: Recommendations for a Strong U.S. Aluminum Industry
includes several recommendations for the new Biden administration and Congress to support a growing and vibrant aluminum sector in the United States. An addendum to the industry’s overarching Aluminum Agenda
released in 2019, the brief includes key policy goals in the areas of the Energy, Environment, Infrastructure, Recycling and Trade.
“We congratulate President Biden and look forward to working with him and his team in the coming months and years,” said Tom Dobbins, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “During this challenging time for our nation, it is critically important that we all work together toward renewal and recovery. A strong and growing domestic aluminum industry can play a role in the American comeback story.”
In remarks at an aluminum plant in Manitowoc, WI, during the presidential election campaign, President Biden noted how aluminum is a key part of future infrastructure development
and addressing climate change
, saying “That means American aluminum for infrastructure, for developing more wind and solar and hydroelectric power, for electric vehicles that will replace cars in the federal fleet.”
The Presidential Policy Brief further details how to make these ambitions a reality through smart and constructive public policy:
- Energy: As a lightweight, durable and infinitely recyclable material, aluminum is part of a suite of solutions for 21st century energy challenges. Both Congress, the Biden administration and state governments have an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through research and investment on production, recycling and use of aluminum.
- Environment: Aluminum producers have voluntarily worked to reduce their environmental impact and to cut greenhouse gas emissions from North American primary production by nearly half since 1991, work previously recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency. Smart climate change policy should work to reduce emissions at home while avoiding jobs “leakage” to overseas countries with more lax environmental enforcement.
- Infrastructure: The U.S. aluminum industry strongly supports increased public and private infrastructure investment and incentives for operational efficiencies and sustainable material choices. The aluminum industry has a role to play in policies around electric grid modernization, electric vehicle infrastructure, public transportation building construction and recycling infrastructure revitalization.
- Recycling: While the aluminum used for cars, buildings and similar industrial applications is typically recycled at rates exceeding 90 percent, aluminum used consumer applications is recycled at far lower rates -- which is bad for the economy and the environment. The Aluminum Association supports policies like a recycling infrastructure fund and well-designed container deposit programs to increase consumer recycling.
- Trade: The single biggest threat to U.S. aluminum remains unfairly subsidized overcapacity in China. Strong, targeted trade enforcement is vital to the U.S. aluminum industry’s ability to compete on a market-based, level playing field. The Aluminum Association supports renewed cooperation with traditional trading partners and allies to address this perennial issue.
Last year, the Aluminum Association released new economic data
showing largely steady jobs and economic impact for the aluminum industry in the United States over the last decade. In total, the U.S. aluminum industry supports nearly 660,000 total jobs (166,000 direct) and nearly $172 billion in total economic output ($70 billion direct). Modeling through the third quarter of 2020 suggested that COVID-19 driven economic disruptions likely reduced jobs and output about 11 percent.
“Among the many lessons of the past year is just how essential American manufacturing is to a strong and healthy country,” added Dobbins. “We are ready to roll up our sleeves and do our part as aluminum producers, recyclers and fabricators. We look forward to working with policymakers to grow good-paying manufacturing jobs while building a more sustainable world.”
About The Aluminum Association
The Aluminum Association represents aluminum production and jobs in the United States, ranging from primary production to value added products to recycling, as well as suppliers to the industry. The association is the industry’s leading voice, representing companies that make 70 percent of the aluminum and aluminum products shipped in North America. The association develops global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise for member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel-efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics. In the U.S., the aluminum industry supports $172 billion in economic activity and nearly 660,000 jobs. For more information visit https://www.aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation.