This Morning in Metals: U.S. Treasury Labels China a Currency Manipulator

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This morning in metals news, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) applauded the U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator, U.S. companies are hoping the Trump administration does not impose tariffs on copper from the E.U. and Novelis announced its quarterly financial results.

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U.S. Treasury Labels China a Currency Manipulator

On the heels of the devaluation of the yuan to levels not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury officially designated China as a currency manipulator.

“This pattern of actions is also a violation of China’s G20 commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation,” the Treasury said in a statement. “As highlighted in the FX Report, Treasury places significant importance on China adhering to its G-20 commitments to refrain from engaging in competitive devaluation and to not target China’s exchange rate for competitive purposes. Treasury continues to urge China to enhance the transparency of China’s exchange rate and reserve management operations and goals.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) applauded the move.

“Today’s action by the Treasury Department is welcome news for the steel industry and American manufacturing,” AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson said in a prepared statement. “China was, and remains, a currency manipulator. The Chinese government’s actions today are just one more instance of its active role in manipulating the value of its currency to promote Chinese exports. We applaud the decisive action today by President Trump and the U.S. government to address the damage, and unfair competitive advantage, that China’s undervalued currency has caused to our nation’s manufacturing sector – especially the steel industry.”

U.S. Companies Concerned About Copper Tariff

As the U.S. has proposed tariffs on a number of items — including copper alloys — from the E.U. as part of the ongoing battle over Airbus subsidies, several U.S. companies have expressed concern.

During a United States Trade Representative (USTR) hearing Monday, many testified to ask the USTR to remove the copper tariffs from the proposed list, Reuters reported.

Novelis Reports 1Q 2020 Earnings

Novelis announced its first-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2020, posting net income of $127 million (down from $137 million for the same quarter in 2018).

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Excluding special items, however, the firm reported net income of $145 million, up from $115 million the previous year.

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