For over a decade, the U.S. aluminum industry has been under attack. Illegal subsidization of domestic aluminum production—perpetuated by Russia, the Middle East, China and other bad actors —depressed prices by 30% and caused the closure of dozens of aluminum smelters and thousands of layoffs. In 2000, the United States had 23 operating primary aluminum smelters, employed nearly 16,000 production workers, and produced over 3.6 million tons of aluminum. By the fall of 2015, the U.S. industry was in crisis – U.S. producers had announced closure of all remaining U.S. capacity except for a single pot line —production was cut to a miniscule 765K tons and 4,000 aluminum workers lost their jobs.
In 2015, Aluminum Now (previously known as “CTTF”) began working with partners in the aluminum industry, community members, and congressional allies to encourage the U.S. government to provide broad, comprehensive relief against the threat of state-subsidized aluminum imports.
Upon President Trump’s election, we pushed the administration to immediately understand the gravity of the situation and supported the launch of the Section 232 investigation into the national security threat of aluminum imports. On March 8th, 2018, President Trump signed a Presidential proclamation imposing tariffs on foreign aluminum imports to protect us from countries that cheat and put U.S. national security first.
Now the U.S. aluminum industry is growing again. Plants are restarting production in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and across the United States. By the end of 2018, U.S. primary aluminum production is expected to increase by over 60%.
The tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration provide the relief needed to level the playing field for American aluminum workers and foster a thriving aluminum industry. Aluminum Now will continue to fight to protect this critical industry.
“This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on other countries.”
The two leaders meet at Mar-a-Lago in Florida to discuss trade deals.
Eight senators, including Sens. Brown (D-OH), Portman (R-OH), Schumer (D-NY) and Stabenow (D-MI), sent letter to Obama admin. demanding WTO case filing
15,000 Americans sign Change.org petition demanding action against illegal Chinese aluminum subsidies
CTTF launched online and on Twitter and Facebook.
The effects of global overcapacity can be seen everyday
“My father worked here for 42 years. When I graduated college, I came here. My younger brother Scott worked here as well. The smelters have been a part of us for all our lives. The quality of life that is has given us. It was the place we wanted to work and took pride in.”
“I’ve worked here for 10 years. When I took this job – there were a lot of plants here, but this was the most secure at the time and the best paying job around this area. And the job has meant a great deal to me and my family. This facility has helped me and my family. I was able to buy my first house and new vehicles because of the job here. “
The Century facility is one of our top employer and are a big part of the fabric of the economy we have here. The impact they have – in terms of taxes – that’s about 10 percent of the local county budget. And that provides services whether it be building roads, bridges, our emergency services through police, fire, ambulance, these are critical services. So, the ripple effect of that is going to have a significant impact on not only the families and jobs that are being lost there but also the businesses in the area…everyone in the region is going to feel the impact.”
“I began working at Century as an hourly craftsman. I went from a craftsman all the way to plant manager. Everything you see around you – the refractory, the bits beside you – it’s not just the loss of the jobs in these smelters, it’s the folks that sell us this refractory and sell us the axels and wheels on these trollies. It’s everything here. It’s not measured in the thousands. It’s measured in the tens of thousands of support jobs that goes into running smelters in the US.”