Metal Industry News

Cliffs to Idle Weirton Tinplate Facility

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Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. will indefinitely idle its tinplate production plant located in Weirton, W.Va., in April, citing a recent decision by the International Trade Commission negating the implementation of antidumping and countervailing duties on tin mill products calculated by the Department of Commerce.

A WARN notice was issued to approximately 900 impacted employees. These employees will be provided relocation opportunities to work at other Cliffs facilities and/or severance packages.

In January 2023, Cleveland-Cliffs and co-petitioners the United Steelworkers filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions related to unfairly traded tin and chromium coated sheet steel products. After finding evidence of dumping and subsidization, on Jan. 5, the Department of Commerce announced duties on four countries, including Canada, China, Germany and South Korea. However, on Feb. 6, the ITC unanimously rejected these tariffs.

“We worked very closely with our partners at the USW on this solution to save Weirton, and together fought tirelessly for its survival. In what was our final effort to maintain tinplate production here in America, we proved that we are forced to operate on an uneven playing field, and that the deck was stacked in favor of the importers,” said Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs' chairman, president and CEO. “Despite the Department of Commerce finding evidence of dumping and subsidization from respondent countries, the ITC shockingly ruled against imposition of tariffs, keeping the uneven playing field in place and making it impossible for us to viably produce tinplate.”

“Weirton Steelworkers can compete with anyone on a level playing field, but the ITC’s recent negative determination continues to leave our markets vulnerable to foreign dumping,” said United Steelworkers President David McCall. “The current market for tin mill products has already been decimated by over 50 percent penetration of illegally dumped foreign tinplate. Now, with the idling of tinplate production in Weirton, unfair trade is one step closer to choking out our domestic industry entirely."