April 28, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Pittsburg, PA – The United Steelworkers said April 22 that it would drop its effort to get a 50% tariff put on aluminum imports, four days after it filed a petition with the International Trade Commission.
The union filed the petition on the grounds that the aluminum industry is being damaged by high levels of unfairly cheap imports, especially from China—it said they had cost more 6,500 jobs since 2011, more than half of the U.S. jobs in refining and smelting—but did not get any support from companies. “These are complex issues, and many parties are placing short-term interests over the long-term viability of the sector,” USW International President Leo Gerard said in a statement Apr. 22. The Aluminum Association trade group said it “shares many of the concerns expressed by the United Steelworkers regarding Chinese aluminum overproduction,” but would prefer that U.S. officials negotiate with China to reduce its production. Canada, which supplies about 65% of U.S. aluminum imports, also objected to the tariff. Read more