March 02, 2019

U.S. Reps. Lawson and Buck Focus on Fair Aluminum Pricing with APEX Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) reintroduced legislation to ensure a fair and free market for the pricing of legislation. The Aluminum Pricing Examination (APEX) Act (H.R. 1406) would grant the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) authority to conduct oversight of the aluminum market and investigate price setting, benchmarking and reporting entities.

“The Aluminum Pricing Examination (APEX) Act brings under the CFTC’s jurisdiction the aluminum benchmark market,” said Rep. Lawson, who introduced the bill last Congress. “This will guarantee that any potential deceptive practices and bad actors within the aluminum market can be investigated.”

The intent of Midwest Premium was to reflect the cost of attracting aluminum into North America. However, the Midwest Premium more than doubled following the introduction of tariffs on imported aluminum. This caused dramatic cost increases for beer and beverage aluminum containers.

There is no current federal direct oversight authority over the aluminum benchmarking system. This legislation would have the Department of Commerce and Department of Justice investigate the unregulated Midwest Premium. The legislation will also ensure that unfair market practices won’t harmfully effect users of aluminum.

“With the help of the CFTC, I hope we can resolve these pricing irregularities, so our nation’s beverage companies can continue to produce some of America’s most popular beverages,” Buck said.

In 2017, the beverage and beer industry purchased 92 billion aluminum cans and aluminum bottles, totaling $11 billion worth of aluminum. Aluminum used in cans is the single most substantial cost in American beverage and beer manufacturing.