Trump touts aluminum-cost drop, but Americans still pay more

Aluminum rolls. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump took a victory lap on Twitter Friday, saying aluminum prices are down about 12% since his tariffs were implemented.

While Trump’s figure is mostly accurate, as far as the price of the metal trade on the London Metal Exchange is concerned, the President failed to point out that the impact of tariffs were reflected mostly in added cost U.S. buyers pay to have the metal delivered. Those premiums soared 26% since he announced the levies on shipments on March 1, 2018, muting the impact of lower global prices.

The price of the metal traded in London has tumbled 12.8% amid mounting concerns that a persistent trade war between the U.S. and China may slow global growth, crimping demand for industrial metals including aluminum.

Trump also cited the jobs he created. While Century Aluminum Co. added 205 jobs last year, that’s not enough to make up for the 600 jobs lost at Alcoa Corp., the largest U.S. aluminum producer. In total, the industries involved in making the refined metal added 300 jobs from April to January, according to Emily Crowley, a principal economist at IHS Markit in Washington.

(By Joe Deaux)

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