aluminum

American Distillers Welcome End of Tariffs in Canada, Mexico

May 20, 2019
Kevin Willis

American whiskey producers feeling the pain from the Trump administration's trade disputes have gotten a shot of relief with an agreement that will end retaliatory tariffs that Canada and Mexico slapped on whiskey and other U.S. products.

The whiskey industry hailed the arrangement to ease trade tensions among the North American allies and said it hopes it's the first of several rounds of good news on the trade front. Distillers have suffered shrinking exports since the last half of 2018 due to tariffs in some key markets.

Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio Valley auto industry is still awaiting a decision on whether or not they’ll face tariffs. The Trump administration was scheduled to make a decision this month, but punted for another six months.

Executive Director of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association Dave Tatman said this adds to the uncertainty his industry faces.

“But we have three huge destabilizers for the economy in which we work. The tariff trade war going on with China, the whole potential of national security threat and however that plays itself out and there’s some new information on that, and then the USMCA agreement,” he said.

Sydney Boles

A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier.

This corner of eastern Kentucky has long struggled to make up for losses in mining and manufacturing. Unemployment in the Ashland area is still around 6.3 percent, well above the state average. Career center employees said workers are anxious about the closure of longtime employer AK Steel, which announced in January it would close its Ashland plant this year.


Kentucky Regulators Want Financial Assurances for Mill

Nov 13, 2018
engineering.com

Kentucky regulators are requiring written financial assurances for a proposed aluminum mill in eastern Kentucky.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the requirement is part of regulators' conditional approval of a $22.4 million Kentucky Power project to build power lines to the site.

The Public Service Commission wants written assurances from Braidy Industries that it has the money to complete the project. Company officials told investors in September they need an additional $400 million to $500 million to complete construction.

engineering.com

The company that’s planning to build an aluminum mill in northeastern Kentucky is seeking new investors to help it complete construction of the massive project.

WDRB in Louisville reports Braidy Industries hasn’t been able to raise anywhere close to the $1.6 billion dollars it needs to complete construction on the project.

Documents filed this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show Braidy is looking to raise at least $400 million through a new round of stock sales.

Kevin Willis

The head of Kentucky’s bourbon association says he’s worried that a drawn-out trade war could slow down growth of the state’s signature distilling industry.

Kentucky bourbon is in the crosshairs of retaliatory tariffs from the European Union, Mexico and Canada after President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from those countries.

Kentucky Distillers Association President Eric Gregory said distillers are worried that if the dispute escalates, it’ll offset some of the industry’s massive growth over the past decade.

McConnell Warns That Trump’s Tariffs Could Hurt Kentucky

Jun 4, 2018

The Senate’s top leader is usually a powerful ally of President Donald Trump, but he finds himself at odds with his fellow Republican over slapping tariffs on American allies.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warns that key Kentucky products including bourbon could wind up targets of retaliation if a trade war erupts over the Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe, Mexico and Canada.

“I don’t think anything good will come out of a trade war,” McConnell said during an appearance Friday before Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce. “And I hope we pull back from the brink here. Because these tariffs will not be good for the economy.”

Becca Schimmel

The Trump administration has made good on a promise to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on some major U.S. trading partners, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

The U.S. commerce department exempted the EU, Canada and Mexico from a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum in March. Those exemptions were set to expire in May, but countries were given one more month. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday the exemptions were expiring and the tariffs will go into effect at midnight. The President is still able to cancel or extend those exemptions.


When President Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports this month, he said protecting the two industries was vital for national security.

"We want to build our ships. We want to build our planes. We want to build our military equipment with steel, with aluminum from our country," he said at a March 8 White House news conference.

In other words, the U.S. military should be as self-sufficient as possible, and not rely on other countries to supply the essential materials it needs for defense.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Pete Prodoehl

Century Aluminum Executive Vice President Jesse Gary said his company will begin hiring up to 300 new workers for its Hancock County smelter as soon as a proposed tariff order is signed.

President Trump is expected to announce a 10 percent tariff on aluminum and a 25 percent tariff on steel this week. Century Aluminum said its smelter in Hancock County could be back to full capacity by 2019 if the tariff order is signed.

Becca Schimmel

The Ohio Valley was once synonymous with steel. Even after the industry’s sharp decline the region is still home to many industries that produce or use steel and aluminum. Those industries are closely watching what the Trump administration will do on steel and aluminum imports.

The Department of Commerce has suggested a massive 24 percent global tariff on those imports. As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to apply tariffs. Now, it’s unclear if President Trump will follow through.

J. Tyler Franklin

The CEO of an aluminum mill slated to open in eastern Kentucky claims the company will be able to sell aluminum for 50 percent cheaper than its competitors, allowing it to pay workers $65,000-per-year starting salaries.

This spring, Braidy is scheduled to break ground on the $1.3 billion plant, which will be located in an industrial park that straddles Greenup, Boyd and Carter Counties.

Alcoa Public Relations

After 56 years in operation, the Alcoa smelter in Warrick County, Indiana has shut down. The aluminum plant ended operations March 24.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports the smelter had 600 employees and about 325 of those have been laid off.  Aloca said the rest have accepted retirement or severance packages or found other employment.

Alcoa announced the shutdown in January and blamed it on the drop in aluminum prices.  

The Alcoa Warrick smelter was one of the last coal-fired smelters in the country.