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U.S. ALUMINUM INDUSTRY URGES EC TO OPEN DOORS TO U.S. TRADE

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Aluminum Association today issued a statement urging the European Community to open its doors to the United States and bring to an end to what the association calls the unfair trading system now in place between the two countries.
 The statement was issued during the Washington-based discussions between Sir Leon Brittan, the chief trade negotiator for the EC, and U.S. trade officials.
 "We applaud the Clinton administration for its commitment to free trade and for requesting an extension of negotiating authority for the United States.
 "The administration's move reinforces our objectives for an open world aluminum market. We urge the European Community to accept the United States' proposal for zero-to-zero tariffs for aluminum ingot and aluminum mill products. It is time for our two countries to trade on a level playing field, rather than to continue the current situation of our industry facing closed doors to the EC and their industry having open access to our markets," said David Parker, president of The Aluminum Association.
 The association, which represents U.S. producers of primary and secondary aluminum, has consistently supported the U.S. government throughout the Uruguay Round multilateral trade negotiations. The industry's main stumbling block, however, has been the EC's reluctance to lower its tariffs.
 To remain competitive in a worldwide market, the U.S. aluminum industry has continually restructured itself since 1982. The number of plants has been reduced from 680 to 550; employment levels have remained constant; and output and sales have increased significantly. Throughout this period, the U.S. industry has maintained the lowest tariffs on aluminum of any nation in the world.
 Parker continued: "The aluminum industry of the European Community has avoided many of the painful decisions faced by U.S. companies because of the protection provided by the comparatively very high tariffs on aluminum ingot (6 percent) and aluminum mill products (10 percent). We strongly support the U.S. government's proposal of zero tariffs and encourage the EC to accept the same. Both industries will benefit from a more competitive international marketplace."
 He added that employment in the U.S. industry probably would have increased if the entire aluminum market in the European Community had been open to U.S. exports through the period 1982-1992.
 -0- 2/12/93
 /CONTACT: Yvonne Beeler of The Aluminum Association, 202-862-5161/


CO: The Aluminum Association ST: District of Columbia IN: MNG SU:

MH -- DC009 -- 6153 02/12/93 12:27 EST
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Date:Feb 12, 1993
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