JW Aluminum to close St. Louis plant

JW Aluminum to close St. Louis plant

Secondary aluminum producer says plant will shut down in May; cites Chinese foil imports as culprit.

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January 31, 2020

Goose Creek, South Carolina-based JW Aluminum Co. has announced it intends to close its plant in St. Louis on May 30, 2020.

JW Aluminum acquired the St. Louis facility from Alcoa in 2004, and at that time the company says “Chinese imports of foil represented less than 1 percent of the total aluminum market” in that sector.

Continues the firm, “Since that time, Chinese imports of foil grew to almost a quarter of the market, largely due to China's unfair trade practices. This surge in Chinese imports resulted from government-supported, massive overcapacity in China to produce aluminum and aluminum products. China’s exports of large and increasing volumes of these products have disrupted markets in the United States and throughout the world.”

Adds Lee McCarter, CEO of JW Aluminum, “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 behavior.”

Continues McCarter, “The decision about St. Louis is a difficult one. Strategically, it is an important step for JW Aluminum to maintain a healthy and robust U.S. manufacturing presence in the decades to come. JW Aluminum will continue to be a leading supplier of American-made flat rolled aluminum products.”

Additional details on the company’s operations, including an expansion project it has undertaken at its Goose Creek facility, can be found here

JW Aluminum says the St. Louis closure will affect employees. “We understand the impact this will have on our teammates and their families,” says McCarter. “We will support all of our teammates through this difficult time and are working to provide the best possible result under these unfortunate circumstances.”