This Morning in Metals: House approves USMCA trade deal

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. House of Representative approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with bipartisan support, Katanga Mining is acquiring land rights from Gecamines and China’s antitrust authority granted approval to Novelis for its proposed acquisition of Aleris.

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Bipartisan vote powers USMCA to approval

After many months of back and forth, the U.S. House of Representatives has finally approved the USMCA.

The House approval came via a bipartisan effort, with 193 Democrats and 192 Republicans voting in favor; 38 Democrats, two Republicans and one Independent voted against the trade deal.

The vote came after the White House and House Democrats earlier this month announced an agreement on revisions to the trade deal, which will supersede the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In order for the USMCA to go into effect, each country’s legislature must ratify the deal. Mexico ratified the deal earlier this year, leaving Canada as the lone pending approval.

“The USMCA is expected to create between 176,000 and 589,000 new American jobs and substantially increase economic growth,” United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a prepared statement. “The International Trade Commission’s analysis shows that USMCA will have a more positive impact on our economy, jobs and wages than any other U.S. trade agreement ever negotiated.

“It will create tens of thousands of new jobs — many importantly in manufacturing—and increase export opportunities for our farmers, ranchers and businesses. President Trump is keeping his promise to replace the failed NAFTA with a far better trade agreement. Thanks to his leadership and the work of Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the USMCA represents the gold standard in U.S. trade policy and will be the template for U.S. trade agreements going forward.”

Katanga to buy land rights from Gecamines

Katanga Mining, a unit of miner Glencore, will buy land rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from state-controlled miner Gecamines, Glencore said.

Katanga Mining’s 75% mining subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) entered an agreement with Gecamines (which is a 25% partner in KCC) to acquire from Gécamines “a comprehensive land package covering areas adjacent to KCC’s existing mining concessions.”

According to Glencore, KCC will pay up to U.S. $250 million for the land acquisition.

Chinese antitrust authority gives Novelis green light for Aleris acquisition

Aluminum roller and recycler Novelis announced Friday that China’s State Administration for Market Regulation had approved the company’s proposed takeover of Aleris.

“This is a significant step forward in uniting these two world-class manufacturing companies,” Novelis President and CEO Steve Fisher said. “The approval we have received from China will allow us to further enhance our strategic position in Asia and diversify our overall product portfolio.”

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

Novelis will also sell the Aleris plant in Duffel, Belgium, to an independent third party as part of the approval, the company said.

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