WITA Webinar: Aluminum Imports and Tariffs – The Business Interests and Impacts




Welcome and Opening Remarks 
  • Kenneth I. Levinson, Executive Director, Washington International Trade Association
Remarks and Discussion
  • Robert E. DeFrancesco, III, Partner, Wiley Rein
  • Jean Simard, President and CEO, Aluminum Association of Canada
  • Tom Dobbins, President and CEO, The Aluminum Association
  • Moderator: Deanna Tanner Okun, Managing Partner, Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP, and former Chair of the International Trade Commission
Followed by:
  • Q & A with Audience Moderated by Ken – Webinar attendees are encouraged to use the Q&A function on the Zoom app to submit their questions in real time.


On Thursday, September 3rd, WITA welcomed U.S. and Canadian business leaders to discuss the tariffs President Trump reimposed on aluminum from Canada under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, after determining that aluminum imports from Canada “threaten to impair the national security of the United States.”

Supplementary Materials:

Deanna Tanner Okun Introduction Presentation

2020.09.03 - WITA - Tariffs on Canadian Aluminum (FINAL)

Robert DeFrancesco Opening Statement

To view the Century Aluminum Company’s CEO, Michael Bless’s remarks on the aluminum tariffs, please click here

Wiley Rein Presentation

Harbor 20200623 Canada Problem Follow Up

Aluminum Association of Canada 

AAC_Slide_P1020 and VAP share_2007-2020

(in order of appearance)

Robert DeFrancesco is a Partner at Wiley Rein LLP. His practice involves all aspects of international trade and trade remedy proceedings. He has particular expertise in both U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and export control matters before the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In addition, Robert has represented numerous clients in both the Section 232 Aluminum investigation before the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Commerce Department and in the Section 301 investigation of China before USTR.

Robert has also actively assisted in World Trade Organization (WTO) matters, providing advice regarding WTO obligations and dispute settlement proceedings for various clients and governments. Clients represented in these proceedings come from industries such as primary aluminum, aluminum extrusions, petrochemicals, steel, semiconductors, renewable energy, and consumer goods, involving products from diverse economies such as China, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and Turkey.

Jean Simard is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC) has been since 2009. Jean Simard is the industry’s official representative and spokesperson with governments, business associations and the media, as well as with international organizations linked to the industry.

Mr. Simard holds a degree in Civil Law from the University of Ottawa, and is a member of the Barreau du Québec. He possesses extensive professional experience in public and government relations, mainly in sustainable development, energy and environmental affairs. Prior to joining the AAC, he was Vice-President Sustainable Development, Public and Governmental Affairs, at Gaz Métro, a Quebec-based energy company.

Mr. Simard represents the AAC at the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) and at the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). He is a member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee of the Quebec Industrial Aluminium Cluster (AluQuébec), as well as a member of the Board (Treasurer) of the Conseil patronal de l’environnement du Québec (CPEQ), and of the Quebec Aluminium Research Development Centre (CQRDA). Co-founder and member of the Steering committee of SWITCH, the Alliance for a greener economy, he is one of the Leaders of the Canadian Smart Prosperity initiative.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of the newly created Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. He is a member of the Steering Committee of Forum Concertation on Circular Economy and of the Public Affairs Committee of the Quebec Employers Council. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Quebec Music & Art Conservatories Foundation and is a member of the Board of Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal. He is also a member of the Ambassador Circle of Nature Conservancy Canada’s, Quebec Chapter.

Tom Dobbins joined the Aluminum Association as President & CEO in March of 2020 after leading the American Composites Manufacturers Association for over 13 years. There he focused on growing markets for composites in aerospace, automotive and building and construction. During his tenure Congress included provisions to advance the use of composites or advanced materials in 6 consecutive infrastructure bills.

He has also worked for two other major associations leading their government affairs programs, the Executive branch of government where he created an outreach and education program for small businesses, 3 Members of Congress and a Congressional Committee, and one of the premiere boutique lobbying firms in its time.

Moderator: Deanna Tanner Okun is the managing partner at Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP. Deanna is an international trade lawyer providing legal and strategic international trade policy advice to steer companies through the intersection where innovation confronts barriers, such as intellectual property theft, unfair trade practices, or regulatory hurdles.

Deanna’s practice involves all aspects of unfair trade litigation and trade remedy advocacy. Her Section 337 work includes all stages of litigation at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) from preinstitution consultation to post-remedy enforcement with Customs and Border Protection (CBP). She also represents companies in Title VII antidumping and countervailing duty investigations before the ITC and Department of Commerce (DOC). In 2017, her client secured the first negative preliminary AD/CVD determination in over seven years. Deanna’s work in trade remedy proceedings on behalf of U.S. companies extends to previously rarely used trade statutes, including Section 201, 232, and 301 investigations. Deanna participated in one of only two Section 201 investigations in the past twenty years, winning a successful remedy for her client. She works closely with contacts in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the government to create innovative solutions to her clients’ legal and business challenges.

Deanna has extensive experience as a top administrator, regulator, enforcer, legislative aide, and lawyer. She served two terms as Chairman during her twelve years of service as a member of the ITC. During her tenure as a Commissioner, she ruled on hundreds of cases involving allegations of patent, trademark and copyright infringement as well as other types of unfair acts such as trade secrets. As Commissioner, she was involved in numerous AD/CVD investigations and participated in almost all recent global safeguard investigations under the Trade Act of 1974, including investigations under Section 201 and the China-specific safeguard investigations under Section 421. Prior to her appointment to the ITC, she served as counsel for international affairs to U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski and practiced international trade law with a large DC-based law firm. During her tenure at the ITC, Deanna was nominated to be Deputy United States Trade Representative.

In 2012, Deanna was named the Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Association of Women in International Trade, a chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade. She has served on the Federal Circuit Advisory Council since 2013. In 2019, for the seventh consecutive year, Managing Intellectual Property named Deanna one of the Top 250 Women in IP. She was recently selected for the 2020 Roster for NAFTA Chapter 19 Binational Panels (U.S.).