CPA Statement on Closure of Cleveland-Cliffs Tin Mill Facility

Tin Mill

Nearly 1,000 West Virginians to Lose Job

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) released the following statement after the Cleveland-Cliffs tin mill steel facility in Weirton, West Virginia (population 18,813) announced its closure this morning. The decision, which will result in nearly 1,000 employee layoffs in April, is a direct result of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) determination that illegally dumped and subsidized imports of tin mill products from China, Canada and Germany do not sufficiently harm the U.S. domestic steel industry. 

ITC’s decision underscores the need for the U.S. to stop relying exclusively upon legal trade cases to protect jobs and industries. Congress should legislate tariffs to preserve and reshore critical industries and President Biden should use his executive authority to pursue the rebuilding of American production. Trade enforcement cases, while important, are too expensive, limited, temporary, and uncertain to be the foundation of trade policy. America’s  goal must no longer be merely “fairn” competition”, but actually rebuilding a broad industrial base and winning the 21st century competition for good jobs.

“The ITC Commissioners’ determination is directly responsible for throwing these workers into the streets,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Globalists that don’t care about middle class jobs opposed Cleveland-Cliffs’ attempt to preserve the plant from the threat posed by increased low-cost foreign imports. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, the government of Canada, and the Consumer Brands Association opposed the tariffs, which again increases the offshoring of US jobs to foreign countries. 

“Congress needs to quit pretending that we can rely upon trade enforcement cases to build a strong economy,” continued Stumo. “In order to protect disadvantaged communities, local industries, and their workers from destructive import surges, Congress must raise tariffs statutorily. It is clear that U.S. domestic industries can no longer rely on expensive, unreliable, and legalistic trade enforcement cases decided by unelected bureaucrats.”


In February 2023, Cleveland Cliffs and the United Steelworkers filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty petitions. In January, the Department of Commerce announced its findings that imports of tin mill products from China, Germany, and South Korea were being unfairly priced or dumped into the U.S. market, and that imports of tin mill products from China were also being subsidized. The case then proceeded  to the ITC to consider the findings. Despite Commerce’s findings, the ITC still found a negative determination that this illegal and predatory trade activity was harming the U.S. domestic steel industry.

Cleveland-Cliffs’ Weirton, West Virginia facility produces tin mill steel and employs nearly 1,000 hard-working Americans, the majority of which are represented by the United Steelworkers. The mill has seen production stall to a near halt due to illegally subsidized foreign competition.




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