Archive | Aluminium/Bauxite

COLUMN-Aluminium through the looking glass after Trump’s tariffs – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – March 13, 2018)

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) – In a little more than a week’s time the United States will impose a tariff of 10 percent on all aluminium imports and 25 percent on all steel imports.

Except for those from Canada and Mexico. For now. Their exemptions have been folded into separate negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Other countries may receive exemptions as well, depending on who qualifies as a “real” friend in the eyes of U.S. President Donald Trump. So far, only “our ally, the great nation of Australia” has been given the Presidential nod. Continue Reading →

Kitimat would be biggest loser if U.S. revokes tariff exemption – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – March 13, 2018)

Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter employs 1,000, exports $600 million annually to U.S.

Vancouver’s shipbuilding and construction industries could pay more for steel and aluminum if the U.S. revokes an exemption granted to Canada under plans to impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum imports.

But no community in B.C. would suffer more than Kitimat under the tariffs if they result in a worst-case scenario: layoffs or even a complete shutdown of the Rio Tinto Alcan (NYSE:RIO) smelter there.

The smelter is Kitimat’s biggest employer and taxpayer. With a workforce of 1,000, it employs one out of every six people in the town of 6,400 inhabitants. It sells roughly $600 million worth of aluminum to the U.S. annually, so a 10% tariff would add $60 million to U.S. prices. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Trudeau tells metal workers: ‘We have your backs’ – by Allison Lampert (Reuters Canada – March 12, 201)

MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised aluminum and steelworkers on Monday he would defend them against possible U.S. tariffs and called U.S. President Donald Trump to stress that“mutually beneficial” cross-border supply chains should be preserved.

Trump said last week he would impose import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum, effective later this month, but exempted Canada after an intense lobbying campaign arranged by Ottawa.

“We are ready to take action whenever action is required … we had your backs last week and we always will,” Trudeau said after visiting a Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) smelter in Alma, Quebec, his first stop on a tour this week of Canada’s steel and aluminum regions. Continue Reading →

Despite tariff reprieve, aluminum industry expected to keep investment under wraps – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 12, 2018)

After receiving a stay of execution on punitive import tariffs imposed by the United States the Canadian aluminum industry can breathe a little easier, but companies are unlikely to make major investment decisions under the status quo.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump exempted Canada and Mexico from new 10-per-cent aluminum tariffs that will soon apply to the rest of the world. The final outcome for Canada will depend on how the ongoing North American free-trade agreement talks proceed, the President said.

Mr. Trump justified the tariffs on national security grounds, specifically the need to secure a domestic supply of metals such as aluminum, for the manufacture of military equipment. Continue Reading →

China’s aluminum exports rise, steel down as Trump prepares tariffs – by Staff (Reuters U.S. – March 8, 2018)

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s aluminum exports grew more than 25 percent in the first two months of 2018, but steel exports fell by nearly a third, as the world’s top producer of the two metals faces scrutiny amid U.S. plans to impose hefty tariffs later on Thursday.

The rise in aluminum shipments suggested winter production cuts by Beijing to battle air pollution had not been as deep as expected, analysts said, depressing local prices and leaving producers with excess supplies to sell offshore.

In contrast, the fall in steel exports extended a steady decline in recent years as local demand has grown and China reins in its domestic steel capacity to curb stifling smog. Continue Reading →

Canada, Mexico to gain temporary exemption from U.S. tariffs on steel – by Adrian Morrow, Lawrence Martin and Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – March 8, 2018)

Canada and Mexico will be spared from President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum while the three countries renegotiate NAFTA, with a permanent exemption if they agree to a deal that satisfies the President, the White House said on Wednesday.

The move allows Mr. Trump to avoid slamming the heavily integrated continental steel and aluminum industries while still using the threat of tariffs to crank up the pressure on his negotiating partners to agree to his protectionist demands at the bargaining table.

The President took to Twitter on Thursday morning to say he would hold a meeting at 3:30 p.m. at the White House over the planned tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, and that the United States must show flexibility toward its allies. Continue Reading →

Trump waves threat of steel tariffs over NAFTA talks – by Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – March 6, 2018)

U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to hit Canada and Mexico with hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum until the two countries agree to a renegotiated NAFTA, rolling two looming trade battles into a single protectionist attack.

Canada and Mexico are pushing back, insisting the two fights must not be linked and keeping up a full-court press to stop Mr. Trump’s tariffs. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to warn Mr. Trump off tariffs, telling him in a telephone call on Monday that levies would make it harder to strike a deal.

Canada and Mexico have powerful allies in the United States, with senior Republican politicians demanding that he change his mind and mulling passing a law to stop him. Continue Reading →

How should Canada respond to Trump’s tariffs? First, do nothing – by Andrew Coyne (National Post – March 6, 2018)

With the world on the brink of a global trade war, the president of the United States turned to Twitter to broadcast his delight.

“When a country (U.S.A.) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he advised. “Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore — we win big. It’s easy!”

Don’t trade any more. As always with Donald Trump, nothing about any of this is normal. The decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from every other nation on earth, proximate cause of the latest crisis, was made on the fly, without a word of warning to allies, Congress or his own officials, reportedly because the president was in a bad mood. Continue Reading →

Trump’s tariff gambit to face first political test in heart of steel country – by David Shribman (Globe and Mail – March 5, 2018)

Donald Trump said last week that he welcomed a trade war. This week, he will find out if he gets one. And next week he may discover if his initiative to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, motivated as much by domestic politics as by economic policy, will have the intended effect at the ballot box and boost Republican electoral prospects.

This week the United States’ largest trading partners, including Canada, will begin to learn the details of the Trump plan, which White House officials originally insisted would provide no carve-outs or exemptions, even for countries with deep and well-established trade relationships.

But the insight that Allan Gotlieb, Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989, added to the permanent wisdom of Washington may apply here and could work to Canada’s benefit: No decision in the American capital ever is final. Continue Reading →

Don’t treat us like North Korea: Canadian aluminum producers offended by Trump – by Jeff Lagerquist (CTV News – March 3, 2018)

A group representing Canada’s aluminum producers is angry that a seven-decade trade relationship with the U.S. is being undermined by President Donald Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on foreign metals.

Trump announced the tariffs on Thursday, telling a group of U.S. metal industry executives that imported steel will be slapped with a 25 per cent tariff and foreign aluminum will face a 10 per cent tariff. Canada is the top supplier of both to the U.S., with $15 billion a year in combined sales.

Trump has partially justified the proposed duties with a Cold War-era law that was meant to ensure the U.S. is not forced to rely on imports from unfriendly nations if war disrupts global trade. The plans for tariffs on aluminum and steel follow a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce that suggests cheap imports are a national security threat. Continue Reading →

U.S. unveils steep tariffs, raising peril of trade war – by Steven Chase, Greg Keenan and Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – March 2, 2018)

U.S. President Donald Trump is firing the first shot in what could amount to a global trade war, announcing plans to slap hefty tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum as a means of protecting American jobs.

The Canadian government was quick to threaten retaliation against the United States if steel and aluminum from Canada are included in the administration’s trade action.

Mr. Trump said on Thursday he intends to levy 25-per-cent tariffs on steel imports and 10-per-cent on aluminum imports, sending U.S. stock markets tumbling over fears of global retaliation and higher inflation. Continue Reading →

‘Trade wars are good, and easy to win’: Trump’s tariff threat sends shock waves around world – by Jonathan Stearns and Thomas Biesheuvel (Financial Post/Bloomberg – March 2, 2018)

Trump’s aggressive stance has stoked fears of trade retaliation and roiled global markets. Here are the developments so far

After President Donald Trump said the U.S. plans to impose 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum, the shock waves are being felt around the world. Asia’s up in arms, the European Union and Canada are pushing back, and there are plenty of forecasts that U.S. consumers are set to pay a whole bunch more for all sorts of purchases. Think beer cans to autos.

While the exact form of the curbs remains unclear — especially whether U.S. allies will win exemptions — the reaction on Friday from outside the world’s biggest economy has been largely negative. Beyond metals, the biggest risk is a tit-for-tat trade war, which draws in other products, possibly foods. We’re following developments here. The time-stamps are New York.

Donald Trump’s plan to curb U.S. imports of steel on national-security grounds threatens the foundations of the World Trade Organization, warned the European Steel Association. Continue Reading →

Trump says U.S. to impose steep tariffs on steel, aluminum imports – by Steve Holland and Ginger Gibson (Reuters U.S. – March 1, 2018)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighboring Canada as well as helping to trigger a large selloff on Wall Street.

Trump said the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would be formally announced next week although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

Trump believes the tariffs will safeguard American jobs but many economists say the impact of price increases for consumers of steel and aluminum, such as the auto and oil industries, will be to destroy more jobs than they create. Continue Reading →

Canada Signals ‘Trade War’ in Seeking Steel, Aluminum Exemptions – by Danielle Bochove, Josh Wingrove and Kristine Owram (Bloomberg News – March 1, 2018)

Canada is vowing to retaliate if U.S. President Donald Trump makes good on his pledge to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum producers — while holding out hope that it could be exempt.

Trump said he intends to slap a 25 percent duty on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum in order to protect the national industry, though details remain unclear. His words sent U.S.-based producers rallying but could hurt companies that ship steel and aluminum from Canada, including Rio Tinto Group and Stelco Holdings Inc., without an exemption.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada buys more than half of American steel, resulting in a $2 billion surplus for the U.S. She also said it’s “entirely inappropriate” for the U.S. to consider the country a threat to national security. Continue Reading →

U.S. Slaps Duties on China Aluminum Foil as Xi Ally Arrives (Bloomberg News – February 27, 2018)

The U.S. Commerce Department slapped stiff duties on aluminum foil from China after concluding that the country’s producers are receiving unfair subsidies and dumping the product in the American market.

Duties from 49 percent to 106 percent will be imposed on Chinese aluminum foil for selling the product in the U.S. below fair market value, the department said in a statement Tuesday. The Trump administration also set duties of 17 percent to 81 percent for the unfair subsidies that the U.S. has concluded Chinese producers receive.

The issue now goes before the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is expected to have the final say on the injury claims in a vote scheduled for March 15, the Aluminum Association, which is based in Virginia, said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Continue Reading →