This Morning in Metals: NAFTA Talks Continue as U.S. Seeks ‘Breakthroughs’

This morning in metals news, the U.S. team looks for “breakthroughs” in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), more than 25,000 British Steel pension members did not respond to a consultation about the future of their pension pots and zinc hits a 10 1/2-year high on supply concerns.
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NAFTA Talks Continue

The sixth round of talks focused on the trilateral trade agreement kicked off last week in Montreal. According to Reuters, the U.S. blocked a Canadian proposal to unblock modernization of the 24-year-old trade deal, instead looking to accelerate negotiations in the hopes of reaching “breakthroughs.”
According to the Reuters report, however, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the talks have been moving too slowly.
The negotiating teams previously hoped to reach some sort of deal before the end of 2017, as each country will host important elections this year (including the Mexican presidential election). However, talks dragged on, as Mexico and Canada bristled at what they perceived to be overly demanding requests from the U.S., such as the suggestion of a sunset clause for the deal and stricter rules of origin for automotive materials.

Responses Needed on Plans of British Steel Pension Members

More than 25,000 British Steel pension members have not responded to a consultation regarding the future of their pension pots, according to the BBC.
The British Steel Pension Scheme was spun off from Tata Steel‘s steel business, a precursor to the merger with ThyssenKrupp.

Zinc Continues to Rise

Amid supply concerns, zinc prices rose to a 10 1/2-year high, according to Reuters.
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According to the report, metals rose ahead of tonight’s State of the Union address, in which investors will look for President Donald Trump to offer details on potential infrastructure work.

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