Alcoa Corp on Monday asked the U.S. Commerce Department to exclude its purchases of a type of aluminum from Canada that is used to make cans from tariffs the Trump administration levied on aluminum and steel in June.
According to documents posted to its website, Alcoa said no U.S. aluminum producer can meet its specification needs and quality requirements for rolling slabs used at its Warrick, Indiana, plant to produce aluminum for can manufacturers.
Alcoa’s applications for tariff waivers on 40,000 metric tons of rolling slab is the start of an effort to roll back tariffs on Canadian aluminum imports with more applications for exemptions from the No. 1 U.S. aluminum producer planned, a company official said.
In one of its opening shots in what is becoming a global trade war, the United States set a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union in June.
Alcoa said in July it will incur as much as $14 million a month in extra expenses, mainly from tariffs levied on aluminum imported from Canada, its biggest supplier.
“Even if all the curtailed smelting capacity in the states was back online and producing metal, the United States would still need to import the majority of its aluminum, and most of it from Canada. We believe that the Section 232 tariffs should be removed from Canada and other fair-trading partners,” said Tim Reyes, president of Alcoa Aluminum, one of the company’s three business units.
Alcoa Chief Executive Roy Harvey told investors in July that the aluminum producer was in “active discussions” with the Trump administration, the Commerce Department and members of Congress about the elimination of tariffs or getting an exception for Canadian aluminum.
Alcoa on Monday filed five applications for one-year exclusions from Section 232 tariffs on imports of “primary aluminum alloyed slab” that it says is not available from any other U.S. manufacturer.