JW Aluminum has announced plans to close its foil plant located in St. Louis, Missouri on 30 May 2020. The company blames unfair Chinese imports of aluminium foil for this step.
JW Aluminum acquired the St. Louis facility from Alcoa in 2004 when Chinese imports of foil represented less than 1% of the total aluminium market. Since that time, Chinese imports of foil grew to almost a quarter of the market, largely due to China’s unfair trade practices, JW Aluminum says in a company statement. This surge in Chinese imports resulted from government-supported, massive overcapacity in China to produce aluminium and aluminium products. China’s exports of large and increasing volumes of these products have disrupted markets in the United States and throughout the world.
“This outcome is one we all worked diligently to prevent. However, even with multiple tariffs and duties now in place, it hasn’t been enough to overcome the devastating effects of China’s market-distorting behaviour,” says Lee McCarter, chief executive of JW Aluminum.
“The decision about St. Louis is a difficult one. Strategically, it is an important step for JW Aluminum to maintain a healthy and robust US manufacturing presence in the decades to come. JW Aluminum will continue to be a leading supplier of American-made flat rolled aluminium products,” he continues. The closure will affect 190 teammates in St. Louis.