Leaders from Century Aluminum and United Steelworkers added their voices to a growing chorus of industry and political leaders urging United States President Donald Trump to use the soon-to-be-released findings from the Commerce Department’s Section 232 national security investigation into alleged illegal dumping of aluminium into the U.S. market by producers from the People’s Republic of China as a springboard to the implementation of “broad comprehensive relief” by the federal government against such activities.
Century Aluminum’s Mike Bless and USW’s vice president Tom Conway addressed the National Press Club on the subject earlier this week, joined by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Kentucky Representative James Comer, and U.S. Army Brigadier General John Adams (Ret.). Citing the loss of 75 percent of domestic aluminium capacity since 2003 and the corresponding disappearance of over 8,000 jobs, the team’s message to the assembled members of the press was a clear and unambiguous declaration that, should the federal government fail to act and soon, the national security apparatus will soon find itself wholly dependent upon overseas sources for specialty aluminium. Such aluminium is essential to the construction and maintenance of a wide range of military equipment, they explained.
As detailed by Bless, such specialty aluminium is integral to the construction of several of the U.S.’s high-tech aeronautical platforms.
“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. 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.”
USW vice president Conway highlighted the president’s vow to protect American jobs, imploring him to stay true to the promises made along the campaign trail in 2016.
“President Trump promised to stand up to governments that don’t play by the rules and bring back U.S. jobs. 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.”
The Section 232 investigation is expected to conclude later this month after delivering its findings to the president. Trump will have 90 days to act on those findings, with significant tariffs being the sought-for action by the domestic aluminium sector.