Century Aluminum and USW Call Upon President Trump to Take Action on Aluminum Section 232 Investigation

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

   Century Aluminum CEO Mike Bless and United Steelworkers Union (USW) Vice President Tom Conway today joined with the 50th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, Rep. James Comer (KY-01) and General John Adams at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to encourage President Trump to take the next step forward in the aluminum Section 232 national security investigation by imposing broad comprehensive relief to promote primary aluminum production in the United States. Launched in April 2017, the Section 232 investigation allows the president to "adjust imports" that threaten to undermine U.S. national security.

  Since 2003, the U.S. primary aluminum industry has lost nearly 75 percent of its aluminum production capacity, costing over 8,000 production workers their jobs.  Without significant relief, the U.S. leaves itself open to full dependence on foreign sources of aluminum and materials that are critical to arming our military and building and maintaining critical infrastructure.
  "Century is the only remaining U.S. producer of high purity aluminum, which is used in defense platforms including F-35, F-18 and F-16 fighter jets and other equipment," said Century Aluminum CEO Mike Bless. "This could be our best, and last, opportunity to make sure this industry is here tomorrow for our men and women in uniform and for the communities that depend on the good jobs that the industry supports."
  While China's state-subsidization has been a primary driver of the problem, this is a global issue. From 2013-2017, global production expanded significantly, due to government support for SOEs and state-directed enterprises. This expansion has driven a collapse in global prices, forcing U.S. producers to shut or idle their facilities.
  "President Trump promised to stand up to governments that don't play by the rules and bring back U.S. jobs," said Vice President of USW Tom Conway. "USW members across the country want President Trump to do the right thing for our nation's security and critical infrastructure and for thousands of American aluminum workers and their families."
  Later this month, the Department of Commerce is expected to make a recommendation to President Trump based on the findings of the Section 232 investigation. The president will then have 90 days to decide a course of action. Century Aluminum and the United Steelworkers Union encourage the Trump administration to levy broad comprehensive tariffs to address systematic global overcapacity. This is not only the best way to safeguard U.S. national security, it is also the best way to motivate action towards the long-term goal of bringing the global market back into balance and long-term sustainability.

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