Ford, GM Shares Drop as US Commerce Recommends Metals Tariffs

Javier Stokes
February 17, 2018

"Therefore, if the Administration determines that a tariff is necessary, MEMA urges the Administration to take a country- and product-specific approach to this issue rather than imposing blanket quotas or tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports". Stepped-up foreign production of steel and aluminum, especially by China, has driven down prices and hurt American producers.

We call on President Trump to act swiftly and boldly to save the American aluminum industry.

Ross said each of the measures should enable US steel producers to operate at 80-percent average capacity utilization rates or better based on available capacity in 2017. "For certain types of steel, such as for electrical transformers, only one USA producer remains", the release stated. However, he says he won't be revealing the President's decision on retaliatory tariffs.

The Department of Commerce is reportedly set to recommend some serious tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.

Trump said the US steel and aluminum industries "are being decimated by dumping and from many countries".

The measures are meant to increase USA production to 80 percent of capacity in both industries. The country's imports are almost four times the amount of exports, according to the report.

During Trump's first year in office, the US trade deficit grew by 12 percent.

A worker at a foundry in Krasnoyarsk Russia positions aluminum ingots before binding them for shipping
A worker at a foundry in Krasnoyarsk Russia positions aluminum ingots before binding them for shipping

The measures would be in addition to any duties now in place. He could use tariffs or specifically target companies.

The problem with antidumping and countervailing cases, Ross said, is they are "required to be quite precise as to product and company" and "serial offenders can avoid them by transshipping through other countries without processing or by shipping the end product".

Aluminum imports have risen to 90% of total demand for primary aluminum, up from 66% in 2012.

Employment in the steel industry has declined by 35 percent since 1998. "It'll make a decision, and I will make a decision that reflects the best interests of the USA, including the need to address overproduction in China and other countries".

Commerce noted that as of Thursday, the U.S. had two antidumping and countervailing duty orders in place on aluminum, both against China, and there are four ongoing investigations against China. These would cover both aluminum ingots and a wide variety of aluminum products.

The options suggested include limiting all countries to steel exports equal to 63 per cent of their 2017 exports into the USA, or a more severe quota for a smaller list of countries if Trump goes the more targeted route. Ross also suggested a 23.5% tariff on aluminum products from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam. Additionally, we are concerned that the secretary seems to have minimized the multiple concerns that downstream aluminum users have raised.

Black Caps v England T20 from Wellington
Williamson said he had spoken to Doull, who had said his comments hadn't come across as he meant them. With a brittle middle order even with Morgan, things might get a lot worse without him.

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