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CEO DATELINE – New association launches for primary aluminum producers

June 12, 2018
By Walt Williams

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A new association has formed to promote the interests of primary aluminum producers in the U.S., and one of the group’s main goals is to support the aluminum and steel tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on foreign imports.

The American Primary Aluminum Association “will represent and promote the common interests of primary aluminum producers and their workers to maintain and increase primary aluminum production in the United States,” according to a statement by the new group. Primary aluminum is aluminum that comes directly from ore.

“Too much is at stake for the American primary aluminum industry, and with the establishment of the APAA, American workers can feel confident that the APAA will be a vocal and authoritative voice to foster an environment in which the industry can continue to prosper,” APAA CEO Mark Duffy said.

APAA evolved from China Trade Task Force, a group launched in 2015 by U.S. aluminum producer Century Aluminum to campaign for legislative action on what the company said was a flood of cheap imports from China. In recent weeks CTTF has run TV and digital ads supporting Trump’s tariffs, including an ad criticizing a National Retail Federation’s anti-tariff campaign starring actor Ben Stein.

Century Aluminum is not a member of  The Aluminum Association, which is the main trade group for the industry, including primary producers and companies that recycle scrap aluminum. The association supports tariffs against China but opposes tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

APAA has pledged to work with the Aluminum Association, but the group maintains that tariffs on U.S. allies will have only minimum impact on most domestic industries while adding thousands of jobs in the aluminum and steel industries.

APAA’s website is