Aluminum and steel industry groups reviewing tariffs deal between U.S. and European Union

Local

(WEHT) We told you last night about how the deal between the U.S. and the European Union will affect the bourbon industry.

Other industries, including aluminum and steel, are studying its impact.

“We could sell every pound we make in that plant 10, 20 times over. What the tariffs have done is improve the price of the product,” said Mike Bless, former CEO of Century Aluminum, during his visit in August, 2018.

After the deal between the U.S. and the E.U. on steel and aluminum tariffs, Mike Baker of the Hancock County Industrial Foundation says its impact will depend on balance of supply and demand.

“The price of aluminum this year has increased 40% to 50% since the first of the year, so they’ve enjoyed higher pricing on that. Again, if there’s balance with these imports, with the demand, then that should not have a significant impact,” he said.

The deal calls for the U.S. not applying Section 232 duties and allowing for tariff free imports while the E.U. will suspend tariffs on U.S. products. Baker warns other producers not in the deal could still affect the global market.

In the summer of 2018, Century Aluminum celebrated the restarting of three pot lines at its smelter in Hancock County , after the Trump administration put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

“If supply is outpacing demand, and there is not a level playing field here with our producers, then that can drive prices down and have a local impact on producers,” Baker said.

The American Primary Aluminum Association, an industry trade group, supports the deal, saying it will keep the tariff program’s effectiveness, while allowing the industry to support continued investment in the country’s industry and create more jobs. They add the program’s helped them create thousands of jobs and lead to more than $6 billion in new investments.

Officials with the local United Steelworkers union that represents many of the workers at Century Aluminum, tell us they’re still studying the agreement and its potential impact on workers.

(This story was originally published on November 2, 2021)

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

100 years

Trending Stories