WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) union, the largest industrial union in North America representing more than 1.2 million active and retired workers, announced today that it was joining the China Trade Task Force (CTTF) in order to increase pressure on China to either cancel the illegal subsidies it offers to its domestic aluminum industry or face full retaliation from the U.S. government.
"The Chinese government is determined, through its illegal domestic subsidies, to destroy the American aluminum industry," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Our union will not stand by and allow China to destroy the jobs of thousands of hardworking Americans who depend on the aluminum industry to support their families.
"We join the CTTF in calling on the administration to present the Chinese government with a simple choice: either remove your illegal subsidies on aluminum or face swift retaliation."
Global aluminum prices are at a six-year low, yet China has increased aluminum production by over 32% this year alone. China has doubled down on production by offering state-owned domestic aluminum producers a range of illegal subsidies such as interest free loans, debt forgiveness and preferential regulatory treatment. These subsidies directly contradict the commitments China made when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Last week, 1,500 Americans lost their jobs after illegal Chinese subsidies forced the closure of three Alcoa aluminum smelters in Washington state and New York. This followed recent job losses at an aluminum smelter in Kentucky. Over 15,000 people joined CTTF by signing a Change.org petition calling on U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to take action to protect these jobs.
"We are proud to add the voices of the hundreds of thousands of USW members across the country in our campaign to save the American aluminum industry from China's effort to undermine domestic production," said CTTF Executive Director Will Dempster.
"Speaking together, our voices demonstrate an urgent need for action. Either the U.S. government mobilizes an effort to combat illegal Chinese aluminum subsidies, or over 10,000 hardworking Americans will lose their jobs. Unless the government uses the tools it has at its disposal, we face the imminent destruction of the American aluminum industry and its good-paying, family supportive jobs."
Watch CTTF's trailer video outlining the Chinese threat to the American aluminum industry here.
For more information on the USW: http://www.usw.org/.
SOURCE China Trade Task Force