Aluminium trade groups urge U.S. tariff exemptions for Canada, Mexico

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Aluminium associations from the United States, Canada and Mexico urged their governments on Monday to reach a deal to eliminate U.S. tariffs on aluminium from Canada and Mexico without imposing any import quotas on their products.

The heads of the U.S.-based Aluminium Association, Mexico's IMEDAL and the Aluminium Association of Canada said the full, quota-free exemptions from the 10 percent "Section 232" national security tariffs for products produced within North America should be agreed upon before leaders of the three countries sign the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Nov. 30.

"The USMCA cannot work for the aluminium industry or our many downstream customers without exempting Canada and Mexico from the 232 tariffs or quotas," the associations said in the letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The aluminium associations said they were glad to see the United States take action to combat illegally subsidized imports of aluminium through China through new anti-dumping investigations, while Canada has also moved to combat transhipment of dumped aluminium products and Mexico has launched an antidumping case against Chinese aluminium foil imports.

"Our respective governments recognise the need to protect against transshipment and continue to take action, and we believe that continued cooperation on this front will address the national security concerns raised by the Section 232 on aluminium imports," the executives wrote. "Tariffs and other trade measures to limit the trade of aluminium products within the region are no longer needed."

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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