Rio Tinto, Canada aluminum’s good guys in Commerce Department probe – by Suzanne O’Halloran (June 21, 2017)

The world’s biggest aluminum players want to set the record straight: they say they shouldn’t be lumped in with China, Russia and other alleged “bad actors” whose imports may be a threat to the security of the United States.

Among those Rio Tinto (RIO), the largest producer of aluminum in North America, via its operations in Quebec and British Columbia. “Rio Tinto’s operations, such as those in Utah, California and Arizona are strong contributors to the United States economy and employment” Rio Tinto CEO Alf Barrios said in prepared remarks viewed by FOX Business, to be delivered Thursday during a scheduled hearing.

Barrios also defended the miner’s long history as a U.S. defense ally dating back to World War II. “Our smelters have a long history of supplying U.S. manufacturers – particularly U.S. defense-related manufacturing” he notes.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will hear testimony from Rio Tinto and other industry insiders today as he continues the U.S. probe into whether certain imports are jeopardizing national security.

“Imports have been flooding into the aluminum industry,” said Ross, during a briefing with reporters last month and covered by FOX Business, confirming the basis for an investigation that began on April 26. He also cautioned that a class of the high-quality silver metal is used in several defense jets including Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35, and Boeing’s F-18 and C-17 (BA).

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