USW: Trade Action on Russian Metals and Inputs Critical Step Forward

Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444,

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today after the Biden administration announced new tariffs on select Russian metals and inputs and Section 232 relief measures on Russian aluminum:

“Today marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Since the initial assault, Russia engaged in heinous attacks on civilians that last week the United States deemed ‘crimes against humanity.’ As a union, we stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and applaud efforts to quickly end the war.

“Over the past year, our nation, in cooperation with many of our friends and allies, imposed sanctions on Russia to limit materials and capital that support its war against Ukraine. However, Russia and Russian producers continue to profit from exports.

“The United States Trade Representative (USTR) and Secretary of Commerce today announced actions on products ranging from pig iron to steel products, nickel, platinum, copper, lead and others that are designed to erase the benefits Russian producers continue to reap and to starve Russia’s war effort.

“The invasion also had enormous economic consequences here at home. Over the past year, imports of Russian aluminum into the United States spiked by more than 50 percent.

“The sharp increase in energy prices caused by Russia’s actions also hurt producers and resulted in massive layoffs, stifling needed production for our own military and critical infrastructure. This includes contributing to the temporary idling of the last high purity aluminum facility in a NATO country, Century Aluminum’s Hawesville, Kentucky smelter.

“The tariffs authorized by the USTR along with the 232 tariffs announced by the Secretary of Commerce are designed to eliminate Russian aluminum from entering our market directly and through third countries.

“While these important measures will need to be carefully assessed in the coming weeks to ensure their effectiveness, this is a critical step forward.

“The USW worked closely with the Biden administration to limit access to our market in aluminum and other Russian exports. We are deeply appreciative of their engagement and today’s actions. These are important steps not only to fulfill the moral imperative to help Ukraine, but to support America’s workers.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222