This Morning in Metals: USTR Hails WTO’s Record $7.5B Tariff Ruling

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The United States Trade Representative lauded the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) decision on U.S. countertariffs against the E.U., a Chinese steelmaker could enter the mix in bidding for British Steel and the WTO put out less than optimistic figures with respect to global growth levels in 2019 and 2020.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

USTR Praises WTO Decision

On Wednesday, a WTO arbitration panel ruled in the U.S.’s favor in its fight against the E.U. vis-a-vis Airbus subsidies.

The ruling opened the door for the U.S. to apply $7.5 billion in tariffs on E.U. goods.

“For years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the U.S. aerospace industry and our workers. Finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed that the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a prepared statement.  “Accordingly, the United States will begin applying WTO-approved tariffs on certain EU goods beginning October 18. We expect to enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue in a way that will benefit American workers.”

Chinese Steelmaker Could Join the Fray of British Steel Bidding

According to Sky News, Chinese steelmaker Jingye Steel is coming forward to potentially make a bid for British Steel.

British Steel went into liquidation earlier this year after it failed to secure a government loan, thus initiating a bidding process for the U.K.’s second-largest steelmaker.

Turkey’s Ataer Holding, a subsidiary of Turkey’s military pension fund, emerged as the favorite to take over the steelmaker earlier this year.

WTO Issues Gloomy Trade Forecast

Amid trade tensions and slowing growth, the WTO has lowered its trade forecast for 2019 and 2020.

The WTO forecast world merchandise trade volume is expected to grow 1.2% this year, down from an April forecast of 2.6%.

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“The darkening outlook for trade is discouraging but not unexpected. Beyond their direct effects, trade conflicts heighten uncertainty, which is leading some businesses to delay the productivity-enhancing investments that are essential to raising living standards,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said. “Job creation may also be hampered as firms employ fewer workers to produce goods and services for export.”

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