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Press Release

West Virginia Miners ‘Walking A Tightrope’ Amid Trade Wars

November 2, 2018

QUOTE FROM TARIFFS HURT THE HEARTLAND SPOKESMAN BRIAN KUEHL: “Tariffs have a sweeping impact that hurts businesses, farmers, manufacturers, miners, workers and families across West Virginia. As the trade war continues, the costs will only grow. Tariffs cost jobs, raise prices for everyday items, and make it harder for manufacturers and other businesses to keep their doors open. We need to end tariffs before the damage gets worse.”

ALUMINUM TARIFFS WILL HURT WEST VIRGINIA’S VITAL AEROSPACE INDUSTRY. “Aerospace companies in West Virginia have an economic impact of over $1 billion per year in the counties of North Central West Virginia alone. They employ thousands of West Virginians in jobs with benefits that pay an average salary of over $72,000 per year. … The global aerospace industry, with its increasing demand for manufactured products, educated and highly-paid workers, and technological progress allowing ever-more-isolated areas of the globe’s population to be connected to the mainstream, is everything we say we want when it comes to West Virginia’s future. Policymakers cannot allow a trade war to derail West Virginia’s future. … [T]he implementation of these tariffs carry with them the threat of real harm to a bright spot in West Virginia’s economy, and a true hope for our state’s future.” (Thomas O’Neill, “Trade War Could Blow Back on WV Bright Spot,” Daily Mail WV, 10/18/18)

TRUMP’S TARIFFS ARE ‘COMING AT A BAD TIME FOR WEST VIRGINIA’S COAL INDUSTRY’. “In response, China proposed tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. products, with coal and natural gas high on the list. Coal exports to China totaled 3.2 million tons in 2017, up from zero in 2015 and 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). ‘We’re obviously watching it closely, particularly given what a bright spot exports have been for our industry of late,’ Ashley Burke, a spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, which represents U.S. mining companies, told Reuters. ‘Anything that would chip away at the appetite for U.S. coal abroad would be of concern.’” (Mark Hand, “Trump’s Trade Wars Harming One of West Virginia Coal Industry’s Few Bright Spots,” Think Progress, 8/17/18)

WEST VIRGINIA’S $84 BILLION TRADE DEAL WITH CHINA ENERGY INVESTMENT CORP. IN JEOPARDY DURING TRUMP’S TRADE WAR. “[T] he China Energy Investment Corp. signed a non-binding $84 billion 20-year deal with the state to help it develop its petrochemical sector that wants access to abundant and cheap shale gas. It is especially needed in a place that has seen its coal industry lose ground to more competitive and cleaner electric generation fuels. ‘We, of course, do not want a trade war,’ Steve Roberts, chair of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce told this writer in an interview. … To put this potential deal in context, West Virginia’s gross economic output is about $75 billion a year. IHS Markit projects a $9 billion infusion into the state by 2035, which will employ 57,000 people in gas-related fields, or 7% of the West Virginia’s workforce. Average pay: $90,000 a year, similar to that of the coal sector. Meantime, the state’s current coal industry workforce is 20,000.” (Ken Silverstein, “Trump’s Trade War With China Could Leave West Virginia’s Energy Sector Seriously Wounded,” Forbes, 4/10/18)

TARIFFS THREATEN WEST VIRGINIAN JOBS. “Tariffs ‘would undermine P&G manufacturing, U.S. jobs, and P&G’s business competitiveness,’ Selina Jackson, the company’s vice president for government relations, wrote to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on September 6. She warned the decision would drive up prices, reduce P&G’s profitability and damage its market share. P&G is also building a $500 million plant in West Virginia. The plant, which will support 1,800 jobs, ‘represents the manufacturing site of the future’ for the company.” (Nathaniel Meyersohn, “The Trade War Reaches Procter & Gamble – And Into The Medicine Cabinet,” CNN, 9/21/18)

WEST VIRGINIA COAL INDUSTRY TAKES HIT AMID TRADE WARS. “The biggest markets for American coal, however, are those that have been targeted by Trump’s tariffs on U.S. steel imports: Brazil, Japan, Ukraine, Canada, India, South Korea and China. The danger for America’s coal producers is that these countries will slash their U.S. orders in retaliation for the tariffs. Any reduction in demand could have serious consequences for the scale of production: China, Japan, India, and Turkey together bought almost 14 million tons of metallurgical coal from America in 2017, a quarter of its overseas total.” (Paul Brian, “Trump’s Trade War Is Digging The Coal Industry Into A Hole,” The Federalist, 7/10/18)




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