Brady, Reichert look to ITC report as tool to help U.S. aluminum industry remain competitive

The results of a recent U.S. International Trade Commission report that was conducted at the request of Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee will be used to help address the problem of aluminum overcapacity that hurts U.S. jobs.

U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Dave Reichert (R-WA), chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade, highlighted the importance of exploring what factors are disrupting the U.S. aluminum industry following the report’s release.

The report found that China accounted for more than half of global aluminum supply and consumption growth during 2011-2015. During that period, the global aluminum market suffered an approximately 30 percent drop in price due to oversupply and production costs.

Brady requested the report last year to help determine what impact Chinese subsides and other trade policies have had on aluminum overcapacity, as well as how factors like electricity costs and the strength of the dollar have impacted U.S. competitiveness.

“The ITC has now delivered a detailed and sophisticated analysis of the competitive conditions aluminum producers across our country face,” Brady said. “I appreciate the thorough and objective report by the commission and its staff on an issue that affects so many American workers. The ITC’s report will be tremendously valuable as lawmakers, industry participants and Trump administration officials work together to find targeted, effective and appropriate solutions to the problem of Chinese overcapacity and other distortions in global aluminum markets.”

Moving forward, Brady said, there needs to be an effort to build on the successes U.S. companies have had in some sectors of the aluminum market and to address distortions that hurt U.S. producers.

Reichert, meanwhile, noted that after the idling and closings of aluminum plants across the country, including in his district in Wenatchee, “it was important to take a deeper look at the causes behind the disruptions in the aluminum industry. Maintaining our competitiveness in the global market is critical to the many good-paying American jobs that depend on the strength of the industry,” he said.

The ITC report was the result of a 16-month investigation that included public hearings and interviews with key industry experts in the United States and foreign markets.

“It will serve as an important roadmap as Congress, stakeholders, and the Administration consider how best to address issues of global overcapacity in the aluminum industry and support American workers in all parts of the supply chain. With a collaborative and thoughtful solution, we can ensure our workers and producers compete and win on the world stage,” Reichert said.