November 02,2016

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Keith Chu (202) 224-4515 

Senators Urge Rejection Of Proposed Chinese Purchase Of U.S. Aluminum Producer

Purchase Threatens U.S. National Security, Risks Transfer of Sensitive R&D

WASHINGTON -- In a letter sent to President Barack Obama today, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., led 12 senators who urged the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to reject the proposed purchase of Aleris Co., by China-based Zhongwang International Group.

Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Bob Casey, D-Penn., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.,  Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Al Franken, D-Minn., also signed the letter, to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

The senators wrote that the proposed purchase would undermine U.S. national security by risking transfer of sensitive technologies and impair U.S. capacity to produce advanced aluminum products, including defense-grade armor, aerospace and other applications.

“Zhongwang’s purchase of Aleris would directly undermine our national security, including by jeopardizing the U.S. manufacturing base for sensitive technologies in an industry already devastated by the effects of China’s market distorting policies, and creating serious risk that sensitive technologies and knowhow will be transferred to China, further imperiling U.S. defense interests,” the senators wrote.

United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard also voiced concerned about the purchase:

“The purchase of Aleris by Zhongwang USA, LLC, held by China Zhongwang Holdings Limited, a Chinese company known for its evasion of US trade laws has raised great concern among USW’s leadership and our members working in the aluminum sector.  Aleris’ assets are critical to not only our national security, but our domestic infrastructure and we are pleased to have these 12 Senators led by Senator Wyden sharing our concerns,” Gerard said.

The full letter is available here.