As President Trump made clear at the NATO summit with European leaders, “other countries trade barriers” have for years harmed U.S. businesses and hurt American workers while U.S troops have defended their borders. These same countries are now attacking criticizing the U.S. for levying its own tariffs to protect our own national defense.
As some of America’s largest aluminum producers, we strongly support Trump’s leadership on the steel and aluminum tariffs to protect our own national security. Since Trump announced the historic tariffs in March, the American public has been inundated with “sky is falling” rhetoric from entrenched special interests and prognosticators opposing the action.
Several months have now passed since the tariffs were implemented, however, and the reality is quite different from the sour predictions: The American economy is as strong as ever, with unemployment levels at or near all-time lows and capital investment increasing at double digit levels. In fact, manufacturing jobs have increased in each month since the tariffs went into place, including in steel- and aluminum-consuming industries like fabricated metal products, which added 7,000 jobs in June alone.
As a result of Trump’s bold leadership, Century Aluminum has begun investing over $115 million to increase production by 60 percent at the Hawesville, Ky., smelter, the last remaining U.S. smelter producing the high-purity aluminum needed by our military. In Marston, Mo., Magnitude 7 Metal’s aluminum smelter — a facility which had been previously forced to lay off nearly 900 workers when production ceased — is restarting production and creating hundreds of new American jobs in Missouri’s bootheel. As a direct result of Trump’s decisive actions, the U.S. primary aluminum industry will have increased its production by over 60 percent in 2018 alone.
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