This Morning in Metals: E.U. Wants Permanent Exemptions From Section 232 Tariffs

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Andrey Kuzmin/Adobe Stack

This morning in metals news, the E.U. is looking to make its exemption from the U.S.’s Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs permanent, reports indicate Tata Steel’s bid for Bhushan Steel could be as much as $5.3 billion, and China announced plans to impose tariffs on a number of U.S. goods in response to President Trump’s move Thursday, one that potentially opened the door to $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.

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After Winning Temporary Relief, E.U. Looks to Make Tariff Exemption Permanent

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer announced Thursday that President Trump granted temporary exemptions from the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs for a number of countries, plus the E.U.

Naturally, the E.U. wants to make the exemption permanent.

The exemption runs until May 1. According to a Financial Times report, E.U. leaders Friday said they would be ready to retaliate if necessary, calling the tariffs an “inappropriate remedy” to global overcapacity.

Tata’s Steel’s Big Bid

According to Bloomberg, Tata Steel has put in a bid of $5.3 billion for the bankrupt Bhushan Steel.

If the deal is completed by March 2019, according to the report, it would make Tata India’s biggest steelmaker.

China Announces Intention to Retaliate on Trade

Following President Trump’s announcement Thursday regarding the USTR’s Section 301 probe and the possibility of as much as $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, China responded in kind.

According to a release on the Chinese Ministry of Commerce website, it has a list of 128 products targeted for tariffs amounting to $3 billion. The list of products includes stainless steel pipes and recycled aluminum, in addition to pork, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nut products, wine, modified ethanol, and more.

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“The United States’ practice of restricting the import of products based on ‘national security’ has severely damaged the multilateral trade system represented by the WTO and seriously interfered with the normal international trade order,” the Ministry of Commerce said. “It has been opposed by many WTO members. The Chinese side also negotiated with the United States through multiple levels and channels, and will take legal actions under the WTO framework to jointly maintain the stability and authority of the multilateral trade rules with other WTO members.”

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