PITTSBURGH, Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued this statement today following the release of a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, asking that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reject the proposed acquisition of Aleris Corporation by Zhongwang.
Zhongwang is a company with a history of evading and circumventing U.S. laws, and its chairman is a member of the Chinese Communist Party. Aleris is a manufacturer of aluminum rolled products and an employer of USW members.
"This proposed acquisition should be closely scrutinized and then rejected because of its potential impact on national security as well as the pattern of activities of its press-identified owners.
"Some 900 USW members work at Aleris' facilities and produce many advanced, leading-edge products in the aluminum sector. These products are made for the aerospace and automotive industries, which also have national defense applications.
"In addition, Aleris has done significant research, development and design of products such as ballistic-resistant aluminum, which is used as armor plate. These kinds of products could clearly advance the national security capabilities of the Chinese at a critical time in our bilateral relations.
"The track record and the connections of this company and its leaders to the government, combined with the importance of these assets to our country's national and economic security, make it clear that this transaction cannot be approved.
"America's aluminum industry is being undermined by China's predatory and protectionist policies. There are now only five aluminum smelters in the United States, down from 23 at the beginning of the last decade. China's massive overcapacity has contributed to that.
"Aluminum is not only used for national security applications, but in infrastructure, transportation and other sectors as well. China's practices have already decimated our industry. It must not be allowed now to come in and acquire what remains.
"CFIUS should carefully and quickly review this transaction and reject it. America's national and economic security interests must be paramount."
A copy of the letter from President Gerard to Secretary Lew, who presides over CFIUS, is available here.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries, including metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, mining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.
CONTACT: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)