WASHINGTON, March 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA) released a new video detailing the restart of idled primary aluminum capacity at Century Aluminum’s Hawesville, KY smelter. The video coincides with the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s signing of the Section 232 proclamation imposing aluminum and steel tariffs and celebrates Hawesville’s capacity restarts.
Century Aluminum, America’s largest primary aluminum producer, was joined by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin on August 22, 2018 to announce the ceremonial restart of its Hawesville smelter, a move which has created hundreds of new American jobs and $150 million in new investment.
Before the imposition of the Section 232 tariffs, the global aluminum excess capacity crisis – fed by illegal trade practices and subsidization by governments around the world – crashed global market prices and decimated this historic American industry. According to a January Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report, countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Russia, India, and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in the Middle East subsidized their domestic aluminum producers directly contributing to the global overcapacity crisis and threatened thousands of American jobs. Since the Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel were imposed, however, there has been over a 60 percent increase in U.S. primary aluminum production and the manufacturing sector has added more than 260,000 jobs over the last year.
“This video chronicles Century’s historic reopening of three pot lines at Hawesville, a restart which would not have been possible without the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Ross, and the support of Governor Bevin,” said Jesse Gary, chairman of the APAA and executive vice president and general counsel of Century Aluminum. “The Hawesville smelter produces the high-purity military grade aluminum that is critically important for U.S. national security. The Section 232 relief offsets the worst effects of the excess capacity crisis and levels the playing field for thousands of American workers and their families.”
“Were it not for the tariffs, we wouldn’t have an aluminum industry by the end of this year – that’s how desperate the situation was getting to be,” says Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in the APAA’s video. “Now [aluminum smelters] are lighting up more pot lines and things are much better [for the industry]. You can’t imagine how good it makes you feel to hear the workers here saying what impact it’s had on their families – what impact it’s had on their community. That’s a really heartwarming thing.”
“Anytime a job is created, somebody is pursuing the American Dream and they’re having an opportunity to have a ripple effect in the community. And so, when Century Aluminum comes and creates hundreds of jobs, what that means for not only those families and those communities – is hard to put into words,” explains Governor Matt Bevin in the piece. “It’s the whole level of hope and encouragement that people have. And so, I’m grateful to Century [Aluminum] for their commitment to revitalize this community.”
About the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA): The American Primary Aluminum Association will advocate to advance the interests of America’s primary aluminum industry and its workers through the Aluminum Now campaign. APAA is registered and incorporated in Washington, DC and operates as a non-profit trade association. For more, please visit: www.aluminumnow.org
SOURCE American Primary Aluminum Association