The Aluminum Association, Arlington, Virginia, released a policy roadmap to lay out principles and policy goals to achieve a sustainable U.S. aluminum sector. The roadmap document, titled The Aluminum Agenda: A Policy Roadmap for a Competitive U.S. Aluminum Industry, was developed in consultation with aluminum companies spanning the entire industry value chain.
According to an Aluminum Association news release, the industry identified five key areas essential for future growth and investment in the U.S.:
- Trade -- Negotiate with China to address structural aluminum overcapacity, eliminate trade barriers for countries that play by the rules and pursue targeted trade enforcement for countries that do not.
- Environment -- Develop common sense, science-based regulation in areas including air and water quality, chemical reporting and vehicle fuel economy standards.
- Infrastructure -- Increase long-term public and private funding and enact various reforms to recognize the benefits of sustainable materials to help shore up the nation’s highways, transit systems, electric grid and other critical infrastructure.
- Energy -- Ensure continued access to reliable, affordable and efficient domestic energy sources.
- Workforce -- Promote policies to enable the recruitment of a skilled and diverse workforce and improve workplace health and safety.
“The aluminum industry is a real bright spot for U.S. manufacturing,” says Michelle O’Neill, senior vice president, global government affairs and sustainability, at Pittsburgh-based Alcoa and chair of the Aluminum Association. “Despite significant global headwinds in recent years, the industry is investing and growing in the U.S. and implementing the Aluminum Agenda will help ensure that growth is sustainable for the long-term.”
The Aluminum Agenda also lists a number of near-term policy priorities to support the industry as well as the broader manufacturing sector. The document calls on lawmakers to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill, promote increased curbside recycling and to remove Section 232 tariffs on aluminum imports from market economy countries.
“Obviously, our recent activity on trade issues has raised the aluminum industry’s profile among policymakers and the general public,” says Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “What we’re highlighting with this policy roadmap is that while trade is critically important to the industry’s long-term health, it is not the only issue we face as we look out over the horizon. Continued growth and investment for the industry will require a far more comprehensive approach including a focus on energy, the environment, infrastructure and workforce issues.”
According to an Aluminum Association news release, the association plans to educate members of Congress and the administration on its new roadmap in the coming weeks and months. The full document can be viewed online.