12 December 2023 – The Association of European Aluminium Producers is calling for more consistent sanctions against Russian raw aluminium. And the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants US steel manufacturers to be subject to new environmental regulations.
- European Aluminium demands: Tighten sanctions against Russian aluminium
- EPA plans new environmental regulations: steel industry in the USA upset
- Environmental protection vs. steel giants: EPA gets serious
- Steel industry under pressure: high costs loom
- Bipartisan opposition: Senators against EPA plans
- Steel giants and trade unions united in protest
- Environmentalists unhappy: regulations not strict enough
- Battle for the air: what does the future hold?
European Aluminium demands: Tighten sanctions against Russian aluminium
Alarm in the aluminium industry: Russian imports in the sights
European aluminium producers are mobilising! Together with the European Aluminium Association, they are urging the EU Commission to include Russian aluminium products – especially wire, foil, tubes and pipes – in the next package of sanctions against Russia. But that’s not enough for them: aluminium ingots are now also to be included on the list, which account for a value around 2.3 billion euros. But at which quantities?
Numbers magic at EU Aluminium producers?
EA is playing with numbers: They only talk about monetary value, not quantity. And what are they not saying? That the value of imports from Russia rose by a whopping 43% in 2022 – but only because of skyrocketing prices. The quantity? Virtually unchanged compared to 2021. And prices will normalise again in 2023. Reminds us on the ongoing anti-circumvention cases against stainless steel from Indonesia via Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam.
2022: A year of exceptions
European Aluminium relies on figures from a year full of unforeseeable events – anything but representative. And the Commission had already established some time ago that such years are not considered representative.
What is left unsaid?
They don’t mention that Russia mainly supplies unalloyed raw aluminium – 19% of total EU imports in 2022. And only 6% of alloyed raw aluminium imports come from Russia.
Who will fill the gap?
European Aluminium leaves open who will replace the raw aluminium, which is particularly needed in the aviation industry. But in their global network, they probably already know who could take over the Russian share.
The EU Commission and corporations: moral pioneering role?
The EU and its large companies want to be moral pioneers – but their number-crunching betrays other intentions. This is how the EU is gambling away trust and credibility. Are they living up to their responsibilities or is it all just political tactics?
EPA plans new environmental regulations: steel industry in the USA upset
Environmental protection vs. steel giants: EPA gets serious
Things are boiling over in the USA: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to put the steel industry on the chain. New regulations for emissions from steelworks are on the agenda. The industry and some politicians are sounding the alarm: this could be expensive!
Steel industry under pressure: high costs loom
The EPA is targeting “fugitive” emissions from steel mills, including leaks, uncontrolled valve openings and slag pits. The plans envisage stricter rules for sintering plants and blast furnaces. But the steel industry warns that this would drive up costs and could cost jobs.
Bipartisan opposition: Senators against EPA plans
A group of senators from both parties – including Todd Young, Mike Braun and Sherrod Brown – are calling on the EPA to keep its hands off the new regulations. They fear that this could make the US steel industry less competitive.
Steel giants and trade unions united in protest
Both steel producers and trade unions see billions in costs ahead. They are warning of high investments and rising operating costs. Donnie Blatt from the United Steel Workers says: “This puts jobs at risk!”
Environmentalists unhappy: regulations not strict enough
But not everyone is against the EPA plans. Environmentalists such as James Pew from Earthjustice criticise the fact that the regulations are far from sufficient to protect public health. They criticise the fact that steelworks are allowed to continue emitting tonnes of toxic metals.
Battle for the air: what does the future hold?
While the steel industry fears for its future, the question remains: will the new EPA rules really work? The issue could certainly tip the scales in the US election campaign.
- EU vs. USA: Steel tariff dispute threatens to escalate again
- British steel giants demand: Stop scrap exports now!
- US construction boom continues: 17 months of non-stop growth!
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