Archive | Steel and Stainless Steel Industries

Canada’s Biggest Steelmaker Sees Layoffs From U.S. Tariffs – by Greg Quinn (Bloomberg News – June 26, 2018)

The head of Canada’s biggest steelmaker says he may have to lay off 1,000 workers and review $750 million (US$564 million) of investment if the government doesn’t fight back against U.S. tariffs.

Canada shouldn’t waver in its plan to retaliate against the 25 per cent tariff the U.S. has imposed on steel imports, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chief Executive Officer Sean Donnelly told lawmakers Tuesday in Ottawa. The government should also seek the permanent elimination of the U.S. tariff, he said.

“This combined impact could result in reduced production, potential shutdown of operating lines impacting over 1,000 direct jobs and over 4,000 indirect jobs in Ontario, in Quebec, with significant implications” to future investment, he said. Continue Reading →

BUILD STEEL BRIDGES NOT STEEL CAGES – by Aaron J. Brown (Hibbing Daily Tribune – June 24, 2018)

Aaron J. Brown is an author and community college instructor from Northern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. He writes the blog and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio (

We’ve outlived our immigrant ancestors. Imprints of hungrier times remain etched on our communities, but they are easy to ignore. The fight for workplace safety and fair pay. The demand for free public education. The streets and amenities built to last beyond the mines on the edge of town. The shared humanity of the many over the tyranny of the few.

But I cannot escape a terrible notion. Transported to another time, the surnames painted in charming fashion on our Northern Minnesota cabins would have been the names on the clipboards outside the immigrant camps we read about in today’s news. Continue Reading →

Time for Trudeau to cut the outrage over Trump’s antics and just cut a deal – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – June 19, 2018)

Imagine throwing a $600-million party and one of the guests leaves in a huff and then Twitter-trashes you all across the Pacific Ocean.

That’s what happened to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he hosted the recent G7 extravaganza and was subsequently attacked by U.S. President Donald Trump.

But this isn’t the first of Trudeau’s trade missteps. He went to China and got the cold shoulder from Xi Jinping for a free trade deal, after snubbing Japan and its Trans-Pacific Partnership by missing a signing ceremony. Continue Reading →

Quebec backs aluminum, steel companies hit by U.S. tariffs – by Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – June 12, 2018)

Quebec is offering $100-million in loans and guarantees to steel and aluminum companies hit by recent U.S. tariffs, raising the possibility of trade complaints against Canadian firms.

Dominique Anglade, Quebec’s Economic Minister, told reporters in Montreal that the program came after aluminum and steel companies received feedback from clients who are not willing to pay the tariffs. “What they’re telling us is some of their contracts were cancelled,” she said, adding some had already slowed production.

Ten days ago, the United States imposed hefty tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports, characterizing shipments from Canada as a threat to national security. Over the weekend, the President threatened to impose 25-per-cent import taxes on foreign car and truck imports, a move that would devastate Canada’s auto industry. Continue Reading →

EU will act against U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum: Merkel – by Michael Nienaber (Reuters U.S. – June 10, 2018)

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe will implement counter-measures against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum just like Canada, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, voicing regret about President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw support for a G7 communique.

Trump’s announcement on Twitter, after leaving the Group of Seven summit in Canada early, that he was backing out of the joint communique torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on a trade dispute between Washington and its top allies.

“The withdrawal, so to speak, via tweet is of course … sobering and a bit depressing,” Merkel said in an ARD television interview following the G7 summit. Continue Reading →

United Steelworkers: Metals tariffs are crucial to national security – by Leo W. Gerard (USA Today – June 10, 2018)

Leo W. Gerard is international president of the United Steelworkers.

The Trump administration’s steel tariffs are intended to staunch the flow of rust from closed American steel mills. The aluminum tariffs are designed to halt the rapid shuttering of American aluminum smelters.

Tens of thousands of steel and aluminum workers have lost their jobs over the past five years as subsidized metal from China glutted the world market, artificially forcing down prices.

The tariffs are not, however, a simple job-preservation measure. President Trump levied them to try to secure sufficient domestic production capacity of these vital metals for defense — for planes and tanks and for critical infrastructure. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: USW: Canada Must be Exempt from Tariffs (United Steelworkers – May 31, 2018)

CONTACT: Holly Hart, (202) 778-4384, [email protected]

Today the United Steelworkers union (USW) expressed its profound disappointment in the Trump Administration’s decision to remove Canada’s exemption from Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

This decision is unacceptable and calls into serious question the design and direction of the Administration’s trade policy. Section 232 relief is founded on national security interests and U.S. law. Our history shows that there is no stronger ally and partner on national security than Canada.

The decision not to exempt Canada ignores the fact that Canada’s steel and aluminum exports to the United States are fairly traded and that Canada has shown its willingness to strengthen its laws as well as its cooperation with the United States to fight unfair trade. Continue Reading →

Tariffs on steel and aluminum might cost the U.S. 400,000 jobs — and Canada could get hit too – by Jessica Vomiero (Global News – June 6, 2018)

A report released Tuesday by the Washington-based trade and economic consulting firm claims that for every steel and aluminum job saved by the Trump administration’s tariffs on imports, 16 more will be lost.

“Basically, the report finds not surprisingly that the tariffs would increase employment in the steel and the aluminum sectors, but what it shows pretty clearly is that a large number of other workers would lose jobs in the process as higher steel costs ripple through the economy,” said Laura Baughman, one of the report’s authors.

Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC released the report this week, which claims that over 400,000 jobs will be lost in other sectors of the economy due to higher prices on steel and aluminum. The industry that could be most impacted, with over 375,000 jobs lost, will be the services sector. Continue Reading →

‘No real winners’: Canadian miners brace for steel tariffs and threat of trade war – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 5, 2018)

However, some mining executives say they would take the uncertainty surrounding steel from current U.S. trade policies in exchange for the tax breaks

In the middle of the U.S. desert, just east of Reno, Nevada, engineers and construction workers are preparing to sink a second shaft of what is likely to be North America’s next productive copper mine sometime next year — Nevada Copper Corp.’s Pumpkin Hollow underground mine.

And yet headwinds are blowing as U.S. tariffs and sanctions threaten to whip up a global trade war, and erode mining companies’ margins just as many commodities prices are rising.

Mining companies operating in the U.S. hope to benefit from a more lax regulatory regime, and from recent tax reform that included major corporate breaks, are worried lingering uncertainty about trade and global economic growth could slow the industry. Continue Reading →

China iron ore futures rise on mine closures, but stocks high (Reuters India – June 4, 2018)

BEIJING, June 5 (Reuters) – China’s Dalian iron ore futures edged up on Tuesday, lifted by market concern about tight supplies after a report that Tangshan city plans to shut hundreds of mining companies, although prices remain under pressure from mounting stockpiles at ports.

Tangshan, the country’s No.1 steelmaking city in Hebei province, said it will close 226 mining firms – half iron ore miners – that do not have legitimate licenses as part of efforts to curb illegal mining and cut pollution.

The central government, meanwhile, has sent teams of inspectors to 10 regions to check rectification measures after previous probes uncovered thousands of environmental violations. Some regions have promised to beef up anti-pollution curbs. Continue Reading →

Trump’s Metal Tariffs Send Corporate Canada Reeling in Disbelief – by Frederic Tomesco (Bloomberg News – June 1, 2018)

To get a sense of the disbelief gripping Canadian manufacturers since the U.S. imposed metal import tariffs, have a chat with Marc Dutil. “I just want to scream,” the chief executive officer of structural-steel maker Canam Group Inc. said Friday by phone. “All this is doing is creating uncertainty. It’s the last thing we needed.”

Canam, ironically, is bidding for work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge, the new structure planned to connect Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

“In theory, the bridge is supposed to stand for the close relationship between our two countries,” Dutil said. “It’s supposed to be built with North American steel, but that steel will be taxed. I can’t see how that will help the economy.” Continue Reading →

US defense sector braces for Trump tariff fallout – by Joe Gould and Aaron Mehta (Defense News – May 31, 2018)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s announcement that it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada may hurt America‘s defense sector and imperil domestic jobs, analysts warn.

The tariffs, which will impose a 25 percent surcharge on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, will go into effect Friday, as the administration follows through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations. U.S. President Donald Trump announced the tariffs in March, citing national security concerns.

Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate, exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions. The European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Trump’s decision amounted to trade “protectionism, pure and simple,” adding that Europe would respond with countermeasures. Continue Reading →

Deal to help struggling Sault steel plant – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – May 12, 2018)

The United Steelworkers Local 2251 and 2724 have reached a tentative agreement with Algoma’s secured creditors. The tentative agreement, reached late Wednesday but finalized Thursday morning, helps pave the way for Algoma to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Mike DaPrat, president of Local 2251, said the unions have been in negotiations for about two-and-a-half years. “We felt it was important that we get a fair collective agreement for our members. We’ve had our ups and downs and stops and starts,” he told The Sault Star.

But in the end, DaPrat believes the tentative agreement reached with the secured creditor’s group is fair. It offers no concessions and some improvements, he said. The membership will be the first to hear the details In the coming days, he said. Meeting dates, location and time have yet to be established. Continue Reading →

Stainless steel glut builds in China as Indonesia ups output – by Maytaal Angel (Reuters U.S. – May 3, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – An abundance of stainless steel in China following the ramp up of new production in Indonesia is threatening stainless mills globally and the nickel producers that supply them.

Marking a major structural shift, China, which makes and consumes around half of the world’s stainless, became a marginal net importer of hot-rolled stainless coil in December for the first time in more than seven years, data from the International Steel Statistics Bureau and from consultants CRU showed.

This is after Chinese-owned stainless giant Tsingshan started production last August at a giant plant in Indonesia that should, by the end of 2018, have an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes.This is equivalent to 6 percent of last year’s global flat stainless capacity, CRU says, and there is more to come, with China’s Delong Holdings set to start production at its Indonesian stainless plant in 2019. Continue Reading →

As steel tariffs squeeze U.S. businesses, uncertainty threatens economic growth – by Don Lee (Los Angeles Times – April 29, 2018)

“We’re in the dark, just like everybody else,” said an executive of a West Coast steel importer. “This administration has been supposedly pro-business, but business doesn’t like uncertainty,” groused a distributor of stainless steel, who, like others, requested anonymity to avoid antagonizing officials.

These should be good times for American manufacturers, construction firms, canners and others that use industrial metals for their business. The U.S. economy is perking along, and tax cuts and global growth are helping boost demand.

But since President Trump abruptly slapped hefty tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of imported steel and aluminum on March 23, the outlook has turned hazy for many — downright bleak for some. Continue Reading →