Aluminum tariff could bring jobs to Tri-State

Aluminum tariff could bring jobs to Tri-State

HANCOCK CO., KY (WFIE) - President Donald Trump's plan for tariffs on aluminum and steel is getting mixed reviews around the nation and in Hancock County, Kentucky.

For some, the move will bring back jobs. For others, it will make it more expensive to produce their product.

Hancock County's Century Aluminum began operations in 1969.

"34 years on the potlines, then one year in the cast house," former employee and Hancock County resident Mike Mattingly said.

The Hawesville plant, which employees around 280 people, is the company's largest US plant, and may soon be growing.

"We'd be thrilled for Century to restart – they've got three potlines out right now about 300 people laid off," Hancock County Judge/Executive Jack McCaslin expressed.

According to a release on the company's website, they say once the tariffs are in place, they will work with the Commonwealth of Kentucky to restart their idled Hawesville smelter.

"I think it's a great idea. Puts people back to work," Mattingly stated.

Hancock County Judge Executive Jack McCaslin adds although the tariff's may appear to be favorable for some companies, he hopes it won't have a reverse effect on others.

"We're in an aluminum area. We've got some aluminum companies that also makes finished products, that these tariffs could hurt because it's going to cost them more money to produce such as Southwire or Aleris Aluminum," McCaslin described.

Those in favor of the tariffs say it would stop the flood of foreign aluminum imports that have been destroying the US aluminum industry and threatening national security.

"I am [in favor] so the Chinese won't flood the market anymore. That's what's bringing the price of aluminum down," Mattingly explained.

And, locals seem to be excited about the economic impact and jobs it could bring.

"I raised my family down there. 4 kids, put them through college," Mattingly recalled.

"Any time you invest capital money in these old plants, that makes you feel real good that you're going to have these plants here for several years to come," McCaslin told 14 News.

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