Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the permanent closure of Bayou Steel Group in LaPlace, Louisiana.

“The Louisiana Workforce Commission is working with the company, the parish president and elected officials to assist those employees who are directly impacted by today’s news,” said Gov. Edwards. “While Bayou Steel has not given any specific reason for the closure, we know that this company, which uses recycled scrap metal that is largely imported, is particularly vulnerable to tariffs. Louisiana is among the most dependent states on tariffed metals, which is why we continue to be hopeful for a speedy resolution to the uncertainty of the future of tariffs. Meanwhile, we will do everything within our power to help those displaced workers.” 

In July 2018, Gov. Edwards wrote President Donald Trump expressing his concerns about the impact of tariffs on the competitiveness of Louisiana ports, Liquefied Natural Gas facilities, agriculture producers and other industries that sustain communities across the state. Click here to read the letter.

Additional facts according to the U.S Census Bureau:

  • Louisiana experienced the largest decline in tariffed metal imports, $682.57 million in the first half of 2019 when compared to $1.40 billion in the first half of 2017; followed by Missouri’s decline of $516.41 million. Louisiana experienced a 48.68 percent decline in tariffed metal imports in this period.
  • Louisiana is one of the top 10 largest importers of tariff steel and aluminum: $719.54 million imported in the first half of 2019.
  • Louisiana is the third state most dependent on tariffed metals, comprising 4.5% of total imports in the first half of 2019.
  • Bayou Steel is particularly vulnerable to tariffs because their steelmaking production process uses recycled scrap metal as their raw material, which is largely imported. The scrap-based Electric Arc Furnace steelmaking production process of Bayou Steel reduces the need for mining natural resources and decreases CO2 emissions. Tariffs increase steel prices by about 12 percent.