Is China to blame for the collapse of the US aluminium smelting industry?
The sharp price decline in the LME aluminium price in late 2015 forced substantial output cuts in the US. Following the 1 Mt output cuts and subsequent job losses, the US launched a complaint against Chinese aluminium subsidies at the World Trade Organisation, accusing Beijing of providing cheap loans and subsidised energy to smelters. In effect, the complaint blames the rapid decline in the US smelting industry solely on unfair practices in China. However, the drawn-out decline in US primary metal output is also down to internal cost factors.