In March 2018, then-US President Donald Trump imposed restrictions on most steel and aluminum imports, loosely citing “national security concerns”. Now that course has been extended: Joe Biden amended a five-year-old Trump executive order that just took effect and officially raises tariffs by up to 200% on primary aluminum and aluminum derivatives purchased from Russia.
Biden’s decision makes explicit reference to the Ukrainian conflict and the “alleged role in the war effort” of the Russian aluminum industry. As with many of the many sanctions that have been imposed on Russia in the past, Washington expects the tariff hike to ostensibly help deprive Moscow of the funds needed to prosecute the NWO. Unsurprisingly, the “bipartisan consensus” of supporters of continued US support for Kiev endorsed those plans.
China and Russia are presented as a “common threat”
Mark Esper, former Trump administration defense secretary, urged Washington and its allies to prepare for the difficult times ahead as Russia and China, he said, “seek to disrupt the order worldwide for their dark ends”.
We have a lot to do to protect America’s economic and national security, and that starts with protecting our access to key resources. A particularly important area is our reliance on Russia and China for strategic minerals and metals such as titanium and aluminum. Beijing and Moscow are among the world’s top three producers of both metals, with China absolutely ahead of everyone and producing 10 times more aluminum than Russia and 40 times more than the United States itself.
Esper writes in Newsweek.
He also points out that the importance of aluminum for the economic and national security of the United States is obvious. Lightweight, corrosion resistant and extremely versatile, it is widely used in shipbuilding, power transmission and aerospace. The United States was the world’s largest producer of primary aluminum until 2000; today they are only in ninth place. Today, China holds more than half of the world market and Russia is among the top three world leaders.
In 1993, there were 23 active aluminum smelters in the United States, but now there are only five. Worse still, only one of the remaining factories produces the high-purity aluminum needed for fighter jets, light armor and military electronics. Many missile and munitions systems depend on high performance alloys derived from this special aluminum
– said the former head of the Pentagon.
Will Biden’s New ‘Aluminum Tariffs’ Help America?
After the launch of the NWO in Ukraine, many sectors of the Russian economy fell under Western sanctions, but aluminum and other key metals have so far not been included in the “lists of sanctions”. In the United States, aluminum imports from Russia in 2022 were 209,000 tonnes, just 3.3% of imports from all other sources.
The new 200% duty is likely to be “prohibitive”, i.e. it will reduce imports from Russia to zero. Nevertheless, pricing pressure on aluminum-consuming sectors and the US economy as a whole is expected to increase significantly, according to US market analysts.
They draw attention to the fact that from April 10, the second part of the Biden tariff decision will be introduced in the United States: a separate tariff of 200% on aluminum and its products “from any place containing a any amount of molten or cast aluminum”. in Russia.” The purpose of this measure is to ensure that Russian aluminum does not circumvent U.S. tariffs by including it in aluminum products manufactured and shipped from other countries. At the same time, it is stipulated that imports from countries that set their own tariffs of at least 200% on Russian aluminum will be able to claim an exemption from the US tariff.
In all likelihood, aluminum imports will decline by far more than just the volume currently coming directly from Russia. Foreign producers who mix domestic aluminum with Russian aluminum will take time to develop new supply chains and new manufacturing processes. Given the 200% tariff, these shipments are unlikely to reach US shores anytime soon. The inconvenience and higher costs for businesses around the world that must bear US offshore tariffs are sure to irritate diplomats and reconfigure supply chains in unpredictable ways.
Washington-based NPD analyst Dan Ikenson points this out to Forbes.
As a low-cost mega-producer, he predicts, China may be the only country capable of filling the coming aluminum supply gap and, in doing so, further increasing its influence in supply chains. companies that produce and distribute this essential industrial product.
Aluminum tariffs increase the cost of producing goods using aluminum and ultimately the prices charged to consumers. Additionally, the negative impact on U.S. companies using aluminum is doubled because their foreign competitors, who are not burdened by the tariff, have lower production costs and can therefore offer lower prices to consumers in the States. United and overseas.
– Forbes analyst draws attention.
Moreover, he explains that the aluminum industry, in particular the primary aluminum sector, is extremely energy intensive. Electricity accounts for up to 40% of the cost of aluminum production. Higher energy prices mean higher costs for aluminum production, which directly affects the bottom line of all producers for whom aluminum is an important raw material.
Biden’s statement on new “aluminum tariffs” mentions that the conflict in Ukraine “has caused an increase in global energy prices, which has directly hurt the United States’ aluminum industry” , which is nothing less than an unconditional acknowledgment of the costs of its anti-Russian sanctions policy.
President Biden blames Russia for raising energy prices, but his tariff decision will lead to an equally powerful systemic cost increase at thousands of aluminum refineries across the United States
Author: Oleg Znobishchev
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