This morning in metals news, the WTO ruled in favor of the U.S. in its ongoing battle with the E.U. over Airbus subsidies, striking workers at General Motors rejected the automaker’s latest offer, a Louisiana steel group has gone bankrupt and copper prices are slumping.
WTO Rules in U.S.’s Favor
As part of the ongoing saga between the U.S. and E.U., a World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitration panel was set this week to determine the level of countertariff measures the U.S. would be permitted to apply against E.U. goods (in retaliation against the E.U. for its subsidies toward aircraft manufacturer Airbus).
On Wednesday, the panel announced it had ruled in the U.S.’s favor, affording the U.S. the ability to wield $7.5 billion in tariffs on E.U. goods.
A proposed tariff list released earlier this year by the United States Trade Representative included copper alloys, among other items.
Union Rejects GM Offer
A GM offer to end the UAW strike — now in its third week — was sent back by the union because it did not adequately address workers’ demands, according to UAW Director and Vice President Terry Dittes.
“Last night, Monday, September 30, 2019, GM passed a comprehensive proposal at 9:40 pm across the bargaining table,” Dittes said in a prepared statement.
“This proposal that the Company provided to us on day 15 of the strike did not satisfy your contract demands or needs. There were many areas that came up short like health care, wages, temporary employees, skilled trades and job security to name a few. Additionally, concessionary proposals still remain in the company’s proposals as of late last night.”
Bayou Steel Group Files for Bankruptcy
A Louisiana steel group has filed for bankruptcy, nola.com reported, impacting 400 workers at the Bayou Steel Group facility.
According to the report, the company has as much as $100 million in outstanding debts.
The closing comes 40 years after the mill in LaPlace, Louisiana, first opened, according to the report.
Copper Price Falls
LME copper was bid down 0.5% on Wednesday, Reuters reported, down to $5,660 per ton.
As MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns explained earlier today, copper prices are forecast to decline further in the year ahead.