The Aluminum Association released a framework for policymakers developing economic stimulus and other programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The document, “American Aluminum Jobs: Essential to the Nation,” underscores the essential nature of U.S. aluminum production, fabrication and recycling and calls for a number of measures to support the industry during the ongoing public health crisis.
Aluminum has long been designated a critical mineral, and both the Commerce and Defense Departments have recognized the domestic aluminum industry as “vital to national security, especially in an unexpected or extended conflict or national emergency.” The industry produces a number of products that are essential during a public health crisis, including medical supplies, building materials, transportation equipment and food and beverage packaging.
“The aluminum industry provides a number of products that will be essential to the nation in the coming weeks and months,” said Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “From building material for emergency facilities and critical infrastructure to antimicrobial medical equipment to packaging for food, beverage, hygiene and other products, aluminum is a key part of any disaster response effort. We are requesting clear guidance from federal, state and local authorities that the industry is exempt from any orders that could potentially disrupt supply chains.”
In addition, the framework calls for a number of specific actions by policymakers to keep the aluminum industry operating in both the near and long-term, including grants for capital projects, a credit insurance program, tax incentives, defense spending and other actions.