Regulatory robbery: Alcoa edition

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Alcoa, the world’s leading aluminum company, is struggling. But Uncle Sam is helping them out, Bloomberg reports:

To be sure, Alcoa is seeing rising demand from automakers, who are increasingly compelled by regulation to make lighter vehicles….

The average amount of the metal in each vehicle will rise 3 percent, he said in a June 26 note. Heavy-truck producers will buy 19 percent more aluminum and plane makers an extra 20 percent, he said.

Of course, aluminum in cars is displacing less-expensive steel. So car-buyers pay more than they would absent regulations, and Alcoa benefits. Does it surprise you that Alcoa supported the fuel-economy regulations?

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