Business View Magazine - October 2018

294 295 4,500 people in the aluminum extrusion industry in some area of production, since 2011. Employee training and safety committee are very big mem- bership benefits.We teach best practices from around the industry to beginner, intermediate, and even some advanced sessions. “The third significant benefit is our advocacy and lobbying. The Chinese invasion came be- tween 2009 and 2010 and went from having six percent of our market to 25 percent in less than a year. Since our trade case went into effect, Chi- nese penetration in our market is less than one percent. So, it’s a huge benefit for our member- ship to fund the legal and staff costs associated with defending those orders in the fight against major trade enforcement issues.” BVM: What impact is the NAFTA dilemma having and how are you addressing members’ concerns? Henderson: “It’s a very difficult time for our industry. A lot of extruders, whether in the U.S. or Canada, operate on both sides of the border. And even more have customers on the other side.We are deep enough into the supply chain, where most extruders don’t just push the metal out of the press. They fabricate it, CNC (Computer Nu- meric Control) machine it, anodize it, paint it, they may even kit it or assemble it into something. They are very involved in the downstream; some are criss-crossing the border two or three times with the same stick of metal, performing various value-adding services before it reaches the man- ufacturer.We’re hearing a lot of confusion about how the orders will be administered, which has led to frustration, and the 232 has certainly had ALUMINUM EXTRUDERS COUNCIL an impact on investment decisions. “As soon as the 232 was announced, we took our case to D.C. and told them not to do what, ultimately, they’ve done.We don’t want members having to pay tariffs – and it’s not just the extrud- ers and their business.We’re worried about our customers. How can they remain competitive in a global market when they have to pay a tariff on the metal price? As a Council and an industry, we’re unified on our position about the 232, and that the threat to the aluminum industry begins and ends with China overbuilding their capacity. The AEC is focused on doing everything we can to grow and protect the industry, so we know longer have to live under these conditions.” BVM: How do you see the industry evolving and what are the AEC’s goals for the next decade? Henderson: “In the last few years, automak- ers have moved from steel to aluminum and we believe that’s the beginning of a bigger revolution. We expect we’ll see a broadening of applications for aluminum extrusions, especially, anything to do with electricity because aluminum brings great conduc- tivity and the ability to dissipate heat. “Talking about electric vehicles, or LED lighting, or the new electrical grid, aluminum extruders are all over it. There has been tremendous growth in the usage of aluminum extrusions in the re- newable energy sector for solar and wind energy systems. An extrusion plant is a huge consumer of energy, mostly natural gas. In the future, we ex- pect we’ll be leaner, in terms of energy consump- tion, and more maintenance-free in the process. “We are a $15 to $20 billion industry–not a big boy– so the only way we’ll be able to get our seat at the table is to be clear thinking, transpar- ent, and loud. And we’re really good at that.”