Insight

Cracks emerge in Trump’s Section 232 aluminium tariff wall

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Report summary

President Trump’s Section 232 directive for aluminium opens up a Pandora’s box of trade conflict and legal confusion. At the time of writing, Canada, Mexico and Australia were exempt from the duties, due to become effective on 23 March. Other countries may well be added before then. In this Insight we assess the real impact on the wider US aluminium industry and investigate the displacement and redirection of primary aluminium flows at a global level. The results suggest that the policy may end up doing more harm than good for the US aluminium sector.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Cracks emerge in Trump’s Section 232 aluminium tariff wall

    PDF 442.81 KB

Table of contents

  • The President’s carrot and stick
  • Will import tariffs really revive the US primary aluminium smelting industry?
  • The structure of the US primary aluminium sector before and after tariffs
  • What about the US downstream aluminium sector?
  • US Midwest premia and LME prices heading in different directions
  • Conclusions

Tables and charts

This report includes 8 images and tables including:

Images

  • US smelter restart incentive price, pre tariff (assuming US Midwest at ¢9/lb)
  • US smelter restart incentive price, post 10% tariff (assuming US Midwest at ¢16/lb)
  • US import requirement of primary aluminium and value added products
  • US imports of primary and VAPs by country
  • US exports of primary aluminium and products
  • US imports of primary aluminium and products
  • Cracks emerge in Trump’s Section 232 aluminium tariff wall: Image 7
  • US Midwest duty-unpaid premia vs European duty-unpaid

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