Putin's Favorite Oligarch Investing His Unsanctioned Rubles In ... Kentucky?
FAM, WE ARE SHOOK! Approximately five minutes after the US Treasury ignored Congress and lifted sanctions on the Deripaska-owned aluminum giants RUSAL and En+, the companies are partnering with local Braidy Industries to open up a huge new aluminum plant in Kentucky. No doubt Mitch McConnell, who's up in 2020, and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, up this fall, are grateful for the boost. How generous of the Russians to keep helping Republicans out with these pesky elections, huh? No wonder both Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell voted against extending those sanctions. Oh, look! Here's Senator Integrity himself going on the Fox Realest Real News network to lobby for better relations between those poor, misunderstood Russians and patriotic Americans.
And speaking of whores, we see you, Kentucky trying to depress turnout with this off-off-year election shit. BUT WE DIGRESS.
Now that RUSAL has decreased Oleg "The Ratfucking Oligarch" Deripaska's ownership share (sort of), the company is off the sanctions list and free to start shipping Siberian aluminum to be rolled right here in US America. Kentucky's Braidy Industries will own 60 percent of the venture, with RUSAL taking a 40 percent stake. On top of which, the state of Kentucky will be kicking up $15 million in seed money and a further $15 million in tax incentives. And for their efforts, the Wall Street Journal reports that Kentucky will net 1,500 temporary construction jobs and 600 permanent positions. What a deal! Forbes, however, is projecting "18,025 new jobs will be created as a result, amounting to the generation of 31,000 incremental job years for the Commonwealth." Ummmmm ... did they forget to carry the one, or is that just oligarch math?
However you work the figures, RUSAL and En+ are about to make a whole lot of money. Reuters reports:
Rusal plans to supply aluminum slab alloys and primary metal for the new mill from its Taishet aluminum smelter that is currently under construction in Siberia. Rusal previously planned to launch the Taishet smelter in late 2020.
The Russian company intends to invest $200 million in this mill and supply about 2 million tonnes of low-carbon aluminum over 10 years worth about $500 million per year.
So, if a guy were out, say, $10 million for troll farming activities in 2016, he'd make that back in the first month of production at the Kentucky plant. Which is not a bad return on investment. ALLEGEDLY.
Also, we are old enough to remember when Donald Trump enacted aluminum tariffs to protect the domestic industry. It's not entirely clear how buying up all the aluminum in Siberia accomplishes that, but perhaps if we peruse this fact sheet from the good lobbyists at Mercury, all will be illuminated.
On first reading, we're not seeing how this factory protects domestic aluminum suppliers. But maybe it's just the shock clouding our minds. Honestly, we haven't been this overcome since we found out that Michael Flynn was working on a plan with Russia to export nuclear technology from Alabama to the Middle East, and he'd recruited Jeff Sessions to help maneuver the project through so everyone could make all the money.
Anyway, the GOP is selling off the country for parts, but at least we don't have a lady president who gave paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. So, thank God for small favors, right?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.