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CA - Free trade agreement with Europe

The Canadian aluminum industry applauds . The stage is set: Quebec must now ensure success!

"The free trade agreement with Europe is an unprecedented growth opportunity for the Canadian aluminum industry because it will drive the gradual elimination of tariffs on aluminum imports, such as, 7% on rods, 6% on billets, foundry and slabs, as well as 3% on remelt," said Jean Simard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aluminum Association of Canada, at the signing of the memorandum of understanding for a possible Canada-Europe free trade agreement. "We look forward to the signing of the agreement as it will open the door to a large-scale market for Canadian aluminum production."

On behalf  of Canada's aluminum industry , Mr. Simard applauds the excellent work accomplished by the Canadian and Quebec government negotiators, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Pierre-Marc Johnson, mandated to represent Quebec.

As Mr. Simard points out, however, this anticipated growth is dependent on a competitive energy offering or, in other words, winning conditions for the industry.

Lower-cost competition already in place

About 70% of the aluminum produced in Canada is value added: rods and alloys could supply, in particular, the European automobile market, as well as other niche markets currently coveted by the Middle East. Over the last five years, the Middle East has tripled its capacity, producing four million tonnes in 2012 and surpassing Quebec's capacity, at an energy cost of two cents per KWH to ensure local growth.

Exporting our energy and creating value in Quebec

"Now that the stage is set, we encourage the Government of Quebec once again to use our clean, renewable energy to take advantage of these new markets by exporting our energy through value-added aluminum products manufactured by our plants," says Mr. Simard.

Quebec must focus on entering into a free trade agreement with Europe by providing local winning conditions, such as a competitive energy offering, for the different industrial sectors.  This way, the entire aluminum value chain will benefit  suppliers, equipment manufacturers and fabricators  in addition to 5,000 companies throughout Quebec.

About the Aluminum Association of Canada (AAC)

The Aluminum Association of Canada groups together Canada's three largest producers of aluminum. These companies operate ten aluminum smelters in Canada, nine of which are located in Quebec, and employ more than 10,000 people.

SOURCE: Aluminum Association of Canada

For further information:
Jean Simard
President and Chief Executive Officer
514-288-4842 or 514-825-6593

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