Mooney showing support for steel, energy industries
Aug 3, 2023
WEIRTON — U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney still sees a future for local manufacturing and energy industries.
“The Northern Panhandle is very important to the economy of West Virginia,” Mooney, R-W.Va., said.
Mooney was in the area Wednesday, visiting with local business leaders, as well as touring and meeting with employees of two of the region’s industrial companies.
In the morning, Mooney, who represents West Virginia’s northern Second District in the U.S. House, met with officials of Cleveland-Cliffs Weirton, learning more about the facility which provides tinplate and cold-rolled sheet products
“It’s clear they have the ability to do a lot more production,” Mooney said, noting investments into the Weirton facility made by Cleveland-Cliffs in recent years.
In May, the company announced layoffs of approximately 300 employees – which equates to about one-third of the workforce – in response to what it says are increases in the import of foreign-produced materials.
Cleveland-Cliffs and the United Steelworkers, in January, filed petitions against eight companies, seeking the impositions of duties on imports of tin mill products from Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
A hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission has been scheduled in the coming weeks, Mooney indicated, which he hopes will provide a more level playing field for the domestic manufacturer.
“We all believe in free trade, but we also need fair trade,” he said, adding there is fear within the Weirton facility of the remaining jobs there being lost if action is not taken. “That’s the biggest concern, obviously.”
Those thoughts were underscored by a guest opinion from USW 2911 President Mark Glyptis, published in The Weirton Daily Times Wednesday.
“We support local businesses, pay the taxes that keep schools operating, and volunteer for the civic groups that keep our communities strong,” Glyptis wrote. “But all of this is in jeopardy right now because foreign manufacturers are dumping mass quantities of low-price tin sheet in U.S. markets, putting our livelihoods, our mill and the entire domestic tin mill industry at risk.”
During the afternoon, Mooney traveled to Newell to meet with employees of Ergon-West Virginia, a refinery involved in the production of a variety of specialty oils, resins, petrochemicals, oil and gas, and more.
“There’s a lot more work to be done,” he said of efforts to support local industry.
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