Exemption from 10% tariffs on imported aluminum for battery cells secured.
Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada gets a little boost as the U.S. Commerce Department has agreed to Tesla's request to waive 10% tariffs on imported aluminum from Japan, used to made 2170 (aka 21700) lithium-ion cylindrical cells.
Tesla was arguing that the U.S. manufacturers cannot "meet the alloy composition or thickness requirements. Domestic producers also cannot meet the annual volume requirement".
Aluminum for Gigafactory 1 is produced by Nippon Light Metal Co Ltd and Tesla/Panasonic is the only manufacturer of 2170 type cells in heU.S. Tesla wrote also that the production of 2170 "will increase exponentially over the next few years".
U.S. Commerce Department accepted the tariff exclusion for 10,000 tonnes annually for one year.
"The Commerce Department said in a document dated June 5 and posted on a government website in recent days that the aluminum “is not produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality.”"
It's great news for the Gigafactory as Panasonic would like to see better profitability of the battery business.
On the other hand, aluminum for batteries is just one of thousands of materials/components in the supply chain so it's not a breakthrough to get a 10% boost on a single item.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office for Chinese-made parts rejected Tesla request to get tariff exemptions on the Model 3 computer and the Autopilot “brain”.