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Letter to the Editor: A response to recent tariff coverage

  

The opinion editorial “More tariffs would bring Missouri to its breaking point” by Missouri House candidate Karan Pujii incorrectly states that Missouri business Magnitude 7 Metals is the “poster child for the negative impact that President Trump’s tariffs have had on the manufacturing industry.”

This assertion is wrong. Without President Trump’s leadership on the Section 232 tariff program, our company, Magnitude 7 Metals aluminum smelter — a facility that had been previously forced to lay off nearly 900 workers when production ceased — would not have been able to restart production and create 500 good-paying American jobs in Missouri’s bootheel.

Not only does the Section 232 tariff program allow us to be competitive, but it also protects our National Security infrastructure that relies heavily on domestic production of aluminum to support everything from airplanes to body armor.

Currently, Missouri’s aluminum jobs are under continued threat because of an unprecedented surge of Canadian aluminum into the United States. In May 2019, Canada was granted an exemption to the Section 232 program and the Canadians have “gamed the tariffs.”

In fact, a recent Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study found that Canada, along with China and the Persian Gulf States, provides the greatest subsidies to their domestic producers. Since Canada was granted an exemption to the tariff program, the Canadians have pumped subsidies into their domestic aluminum industry supporting $550 million (Canadian) in new expansion projects. The Canadian surge has been going on for a year and is negatively impacting working families right here in Missouri.

My message is simple: candidate Karan Pujii is wrong. We need local elected officials to stand with the state’s aluminum workers and ask the Trump Administration to reimpose the 10 percent tariff on ALL aluminum imports, including Canada, so we can stop foreign countries gaming the system and keep jobs in Missouri.

Sincerely,
Charles Reali
Chief Executive Officer Magnitude 7 Metals, LLC