Aluminum extruders from around the world have formed an alliance designed to promote and defend fair trade practices. The International Fair Trade Alliance (IFTA) is a non-profit organization created to bring together aluminum extrusion manufacturers and suppliers from across the globe for the purpose of promoting free and fair trade. The Alliance, which began forming earlier this summer, is comprised of aluminum extruders from North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, the Gulf States, and Israel.
Jason Weber, director, International Market Intelligence for Sapa Extrusion North America and newly elected chairman of IFTA, said, “IFTA believes that a network of market-based aluminum extrusion companies and associations can work together to support, teach, and advocate fair trade practices at a national and international level.”
Jeff Henderson, president & CEO of The Sanford Organization, is IFTA executive director. Board members include representatives from extrusion companies and trade associations who will represent their country or region on matters related to fair trade. The newly formed board of directors includes:
- U.S./Canada – Duncan Crowdis, past chairman, Aluminum Extruders Council
- Colombia – Michael Gil Gómez, chief financial & strategy officer, Alumina S.A.
- Australia/New Zealand – Lewis Saragossi, Australian Aluminum Extrusion Association
- Gulf States – Mahmoud Daylami, secretary general, Gulf Aluminum Council
- Ecuador – Jochen Münch, director comercial corporativo, Corporación Ecuatoriana de Aluminio Cedal S.A.
- Israel – Roy Shenkar, business development manager, Klil Industries
- Canada – Mike Flynn, president, Apel Extrusions
The members of IFTA are convinced that non-market based economies are committed to undermining the principles of free enterprise through a variety of illegal and unfair trade practices that must be confronted by individual countries and at the World Trade Organization. Lewis Saragossi, chairman and managing director of G. James Glass & Aluminum and representing the Australian Aluminum Extrusion Association on IFTA’s board, said, “We are all seeing illegal and unfair trade tactics from China being exported to other countries. It is time for our industry to come together as a global community to share data and field intelligence so each of our marketplaces can efficiently and quickly confront these threats.”
To date, the International Fair Trade Alliance has recruited new members by invitation and operated on voluntarily donated funds. Extruders and extrusion trade associations are invited to contact IFTA to inquire how to get involved. Jochen Münch, commercial director of Ecuadorian extruder Corporación Ecuatoriana de Aluminio Cedal S.A. said, “What we are seeing is the proliferation of Chinese aluminum extrusions throughout South America. As duties, have been imposed by countries like Australia, Canada, and the U.S., Chinese extruders are moving into new markets. So, even if you do not feel the threat today, just give it some time and you will.”