The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023

Senator Brown seeks to protect Lafarge

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown information

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is urging the Obama Administration to protect Paulding County’s cement industry and the thousands of local jobs it supports. In a letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman, Brown called for the Administration to crack down on Canada’s attempt to illegally subsidize a cement plant in Quebec, which would specifically target the U.S. market, hurting the ability of local manufacturers to compete. U.S. cement companies would be affected, including Lafarge North America, which has a plant in Paulding.

“Paulding County workers can compete with anyone when given a level playing field,” Brown said. “But if countries like Canada illegally subsidize their industries, and target the U.S. market, it gives their products an unfair advantage. I urge the administration to investigate the nearly $500 million subsidy package proposed for the Quebec plant, which will directly compete with Lafarge North America’s facility in Paulding. Actions must be taken in order to protect Paulding jobs and the economy of Northwest Ohio.”

Lafarge North America logo 7-2014Specifically, the Canadian federal government and Quebec are seeking to offer a nearly half billion dollar financial package to McInnis Cement to help its startup in Port-Daniel-Gascons, Quebec. The size and nature of these subsidies could violate Canada’s World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations and give its cement industry an unfair advantage in the U.S. market. That is why Brown is calling for the USTR to investigate these subsidies and put a stop to them in order to protect Paulding’s workers and businesses.

“Lafarge North America appreciates the inquiry to the United States Trade Representative to address a serious threat to U.S. cement producers and their workers,” said John Stull, president and chief executive officer of Lafarge North America. “Given the excess cement capacity in the Province of Quebec, the McInnis Cement plant makes no economic sense.

“Lafarge believes that the plant would not be built without enormous support from the federal and provincial government. Lafarge joins Senator Brown in urging the U.S. government to engage with the Canadian government regarding the provision of subsidies that appear to be prohibited by WTO rules and threaten material harm to the U.S. cement industry.”

Brown continues to fight for Ohio manufacturers’ ability to compete on a level playing field. Described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown is a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, currently Vice-Chair of the Senate Auto Caucus, and was recently named incoming Chair of the Senate Steel Caucus. In April, bipartisan manufacturing jobs legislation introduced by Brown and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) moved one step closer to becoming law. Brown-Blunt would establish a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and create thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs while enhancing the United States’ role as the world’s leader in advanced manufacturing. 

POSTED: 07/24/14 at 6:52 am. FILED UNDER: News