The United States is banning a Chinese firm from selling aluminium products from its plants in the United States, which it accuses of violating a US export law.
The State Department’s chief spokesman Mark Toner said Friday the ban on Chinese aluminium plants in Arizona and Michigan would apply to aluminum products from both the Chinese company Alcoa and the US firm Alcoas.
“We are concerned about the Chinese government’s actions in this regard,” Toner told reporters in Washington.
“They have the ability to ban imports of US goods that are made in their facilities,” he said.
The United States has been seeking to persuade China to ease restrictions on aluminium imports since President Donald Trump took office in January, and Alcoan was one of several firms that sought to buy aluminum from the US in the last few months of the Obama administration.
But the US has so far been unable to persuade the Chinese to loosen restrictions on its aluminium industry.
The US is the world’s largest importer of aluminium, but China has a much smaller market.
Last week, the United Nations urged China to lift restrictions on aluminum exports as a matter of urgency.
“The international community must ensure that the United Kingdom, the EU, and China have the tools to enforce the WTO Agreement and safeguard global trade in aluminium,” the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement.
In a separate development, the Australian government said on Thursday that the Chinese had refused to supply aluminium to Australia’s aluminium and glass industry for more than a year.
The Australian National University has said aluminium is becoming increasingly difficult to find and the government needs to develop a plan to import aluminium from the world-renowned Chinese firm Aluminium and Glass Australia Ltd.AAP/ABC