Seized Guardian Venezuela Plant
Could Result in “Grave Safety Risks”
he socialist government of
Venezuela seized Guardian In-
dustries’ ﬂoat glass facility in
Maturin in late July just as the com-
pany was about to shut down the glass
furnace for regular maintenance, ac-
cording to a statement from Guardian.
The company says the South American
country could be creating a dangerous
situation at the facility for employees
“abandoned” or “sabotaged” the fa-
cility, and it says the country violated
international investment treaties by
taking over the factory.
“The Venezuelan government
seized control of Guardian Venezu-
ela when the company attempted to
implement an orderly and safe cool-
down of its glass melting furnace
to protect the safety of its employ-
and the community if it continues to Guardian Industries says Venezuela ees and the community in general,
make glass there without completing seized the company’s ﬂoat glass plant while otherwise continuing com-
the maintenance work.
in the country right when it was about mercial operations,” the statement
Guardian also forcefully rejected to perform needed maintenance work
Venezuela’s claim that the company on the furnace.
continued on page 26
Report: Don’t Blame China for
Falling U.S. Aluminum Production
eclines in the U.S. primary
UNO’s analysis notes that primary
“While the upstream producers of
aluminum industry aren’t en- aluminum production in the U.S. primary aluminum in the United States
tirely the fault of China, James peaked in the 1980s and has been are facing signiﬁcant challenges, the
Breeden with UNO International Trade trending lower ever since. In contrast, downstream industry—consisting of
Strategy argues in a recent white China’s aluminum expansion began producers specializing in value-added
paper. He says more trade barriers will around 2000.
aluminum products—is experiencing
hurt, rather than help, the situation. UNO’s report ﬁnds that U.S. up- robust growth and proﬁtability,” ac-
According to the report, “The Alumi- stream producers today are dealing cording to the report. “The increased
num Industry and the ‘China Problem’: with higher energy costs and less ef- demand for downstream products
A Convenient and Misleading Explana- ﬁcient technology than producers in has offset the struggles of the U.S.
tion,” the idea that China is solely be- China, Canada, Russia and the Middle primary aluminum sector such that,
hind the decline in primary aluminum East. Because of that, U.S. smelters in recent years, the entire value chain
production in the U.S. “ignores the are struggling to compete. In the U.S., of the U.S. aluminum industry has
complexities of a global industry and it costs $1,732 per ton to produce pri- posted positive gains in demand and
the strategic missteps of large-scale mary aluminum, the report ﬁnds. The revenue.”
producers in response to the develop- global average cost per ton is $1,348.
In 2014, U.S. aluminum shipments
ment of the Chinese aluminum indus- In China, it’s $1,374; in Canada, it’s were up 36 percent compared to
try.” Instead, Breeden argues that the $1,212; and in Russia it’s $1,268.
rise of the Chinese aluminum industry Additionally, the U.S. aluminum
2009, the report said.
Finally, Breeden argues that more
has “exposed existing disadvantages market has shifted over the past 20 tariffs and trade restrictions against
and vulnerabilities experienced by years from upstream production to the Chinese aluminum won’t resurrect the
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | October 2016