Aluminum is widely used in buildings, transportation, and home appliances. However, primary aluminum production is a resource-, energy-, and emission-intensive industrial process. At present, China is the world's largest producer of aluminum. Under China's new national development pattern of the "internal-external dual cycle", China's aluminum industry (CAI) future development may also need to be adjusted. This study combines material flow analysis, life cycle assessment, and scenario analysis to investigate the potential of resource-conservation, energy-saving, and emission-reduction for CAI till 2030 under the transition of import and export trade. The results show that nearly 40% of China's annual aluminum production entered the inventory in use in other parts of the world through trade between 2010 and 2017. Reducing the export of aluminum products can effectively decrease the external dependence on bauxite of CAI and is also an important means for CAI to achieve carbon peaking by 2030.