This Morning in Metals: ArcelorMittal, Nippon Submit Joint Bid for Essar

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This morning in metals news, the final two bidders for India’s Essar Steel have been chosen, businesses are grappling with the reality of no tariff exclusions vis-a-vis the most recent round of tariffs on China and trade ministers met in Ottawa to talk about strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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A Joint Effort

According to Reuters, ArcelorMittal, along with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., have submitted the final bid for India’s Essar Steel, which entered bankruptcy proceedings last year.

According to the report, the joint venture marks the first attempt by global steel firms to operate in India without a local partner.

No Exemptions

Unlike previous tariffs, U.S. businesses have not been able to submit exclusion requests to the tariffs applied to about $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in September.

As previously noted in this space, the 10% tariff on that list of goods will jump to 25% in January.

A report from CNBC includes some reactions from the business community.

“Razor-thin margins give retailers very little room to absorb the tariffs without passing some cost on to consumers,” the Retail Industry Leaders Association said in a letter to the White House this week. “Tariffs must not be an end in and of themselves.”

A New WTO

A group of trade ministers met in Ottawa Oct. 24-25, where they discussed ways to improve and modernize the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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The ministers participating in the meeting issued a communique, concluding:

“The current situation at the WTO is no longer sustainable,” the communique states. “Our resolve for change must be matched with action: we will continue to fight protectionism; and we are committed politically to moving forward urgently on transparency, dispute settlement and developing 21st century trade rules at the WTO. We look forward to reviewing our progress when we meet again in January 2019.”

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