America’s Dying Aluminum Industry

And America still has no replacement for the Russian rockets it uses to send things into space with. America is hemorrhaging.

 

High purity aluminum is used to make jets such as this Boeing F-18. (ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES)

 

Cheap Chinese aluminum is undermining national security.

At the dawn of the 20th century, the United States of America emerged as a world power. At the heart of its rise was a powerful manufacturing economy. Following the rapid expansion westward of Manifest Destiny, the collective resources of the continent were combined with the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people. The steel smelters of Pittsburgh, and the automobile factories of Detroit were symbols of America’s manufacturing might.

While American manufacturing drove forward peacetime prosperity, it wasn’t long before it would be mobilized for war. The armies of freedom were fortunate that the American industrial machine was on the side of the Allies, for it proved unmatched in the world. It is doubtful that the Allies could have won World War II if America was less industrialized. Despite the vital nature of American manufacturing, it has crumbled into oblivion since 1945.

The continuous outsourcing of American manufacturing and the over production of other countries has eroded away any industry America had. The smelters around Pittsburgh have long disappeared, and Detroit has become a ghost town. While this has led to fewer jobs and domestic issues, it is also becoming a national security threat.

One vital resource is aluminum, which is used to produce advanced military equipment. If America cannot produce any itself, it must rely on other nations for this strategic resource. The nation responsible for causing the collapse of American aluminum is China. This leaves the American military in a vulnerable state, while empowering China with a decisive edge. In a Foreign Policy piece entitled Cheap Chinese Aluminum is a National Security Threat, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian wrote:

Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, cheap Chinese aluminum has flooded American markets, closing factories and putting people out of work. The number of aluminum smelters in the United States has fallen from 23 to five in that time. Eight smelters have either shut down or scaled back operations since 2015, and about 3,500 aluminum jobs have disappeared in the last 18 months alone.

A bigger worry, however, is national security. High purity aluminum is used to make certain kinds of jets, such as Boeing’s F-18 and Lockheed Martin’s F-35, as well as armored vehicles. But the United States now has just one domestic manufacturer of high purity aluminum left — Century Aluminum’s Hawesville, Ky. plant, which is currently operating at 40 percent capacity amid dropping prices.

The prospects for importing high purity aluminum, from a geopolitical risk standpoint, aren’t friendly; only a few smelters in the world produce it, and those are located mostly in Russia, the Middle East, and China.

America’s chief geopolitical rivals, Russia and China, hold a monopoly on aluminum smelting, and control a resource that is vital to the production of America’s next generation technology. If Russia and China decided to stop selling aluminum to the United States over tariffs and protectionism, it could be disastrous. The solution is for America to rekindle its own aluminum smelters. Allen-Ebrahimian continues:

If President Trump is unable to resurrect America’s aluminum industry, the only course of action is to levy tariffs against Chinese aluminum. In the past, a tariff up to 270 percent has been applied on Chinese aluminum, and this could skyrocket if President Trump believes that America’s war capacity is under threat. This begs the question, however, how can China produce such vast amounts of aluminum for such an extended period of time? Allen-Ebrahimian answers:

It is doubtful that American aluminum smelters could expand rapidly enough to keep up with the demand, and also compete with subsidized factories that will continue to undermine American industry. The Chinese model for growth deliberately forces other nations to buy Chinese resources or face rising prices from home grown products. American industry bought into the Chinese trap, and we are now paying for it. Eventually, it could prove to be an existential threat.

The trend of American decline in Aluminum manufacturing is not surprising. In fact, it is only another symptom of national decay that has been plaguing America ever since the end of World War II. In nearly all strategic minerals the United States has either phased out domestic industry or relies on foreign imports. To read more about America’s mineral weakness check out Robert Morley’s article Minerals: Crumbling Bedrock of US Security. This is leading to the worst crisis in American history.

In his booklet entitled Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, Gerald Flurry explains that Ezekiel 4 contains a prophecy about an economic siege on the American superpower. After a period of sustained decline, America’s rivals (Europe, Russia, and China) will cut off America’s access to world trade, including strategic resources. Gerald Flurry writes:

The decline of American aluminum smelting is a very clear sign that world events are building to this devastating siege of America. This prophecy predicts that America’s manufacturing woes will not improve under the Trump administration, but will only get worse. Decades of moral decline and faithless decisions has left the world superpower listless in a dangerous world. To read more about America’s immediate future, order our free booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

Full article: America’s Dying Aluminum Industry (The Trumpet)

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