Monday deadline looms for comments on E.U. copper products facing 100% tariff rate

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Following from the long-running case recently won by the U.S. over whether the European Union (E.U.) provided Airbus with subsidies, on Dec. 2 the World Trade Organization (WTO) rejected the E.U.’s claim that subsidies were no longer provided to Airbus.

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This ruling gave the U.S. scope to execute an additional Review of New Tariffs on E.U. imports.

On Dec. 12, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a notice additional products may see tariff rates of up to 100%, as listed in Annex II, posted at Regulations.gov.

This annex includes only products not currently affected by Airbus-related Section 301 tariffs issued during late 2019.

Copper and copper alloys, spanning HTS codes 7407 through 7418, once again face consideration for tariffs of up to 100%.

These items were originally considered but not included in the first round of tariffs. This effectively means that any products produced by E.U. copper mills could see a tariff rate at 100% of invoice value.

Meanwhile, Annex I tariffs — now in the range of 10-25% — once again face scrutiny with the list reopened for discussion. Tariffs on the first list could be completely removed or raised to 100%.

Copper and copper alloy products under consideration for tariff rates of up to 100%:

HTS statistical reporting No. Product description
7407.10.50 Refined copper, bars and rods.
7407.21.90 Copper-zinc base alloys (brass), bars & rods nesoi, not having a rectangular cross section.
7408.21.00 Copper-zinc base alloys (brass), wire.
7408.29.10 Copper alloys (o/than brass, cupro-nickel or nickel-silver), wire, coated or plated with metal.
7409.11.50 Refined copper, plates, sheets and strip, in coils, with a thickness over 0.15mm but less than 5 mm.
7409.21.00 Copper-zinc base alloys (brass), plates, sheets and strip, in coils.
7409.29.00 Copper-zinc base alloys (brass), plates, sheets and strip, not in coils.
7409.31.50 Copper-tin base alloys (bronze), plates, sheets and strip, in coils, with a thickness o/0.15mm but less than 5mm & a width of 500mm or more.
7409.31.90 Copper-tin base alloys (bronze), plates, sheets and strip, in coils, w/thickness o/0.15mm but less than 5mm & a width of less than 500mm.
7409.40.00 Copper-nickel base alloys (cupro-nickel) or copper-nickel-zinc base alloys (nickel silver), plates, sheets and strip, w/thickness o/0.15mm.
7409.90.90 Copper alloys (o/than brass/bronze/cupro-nickel/nickel silver), plates, sheets & strip, w/thick. o/0.15mm but less th/5mm & width less 500mm.
7410.11.00 Refined copper, foil, w/thickness of 0.15 mm or less, not backed.
7411.22.00 Copper-nickel base alloys (cupro-nickel) or copper-nickel-zinc base alloys (nickel-silver), tubes and pipes.
7418.10.00 Copper & copper alloy table, kitchen, household articles & parts; pot scourers, scouring & polishing pads, gloves, etc.

Monday deadline to comment on new proposed round of tariff increases

Comments on this case must be received by Jan. 13, 2020, to assure consideration.

To submit comments, see Docket ID USTR-2019-0003 at www.regulations.gov.

Global copper giant needs $20 billion to improve declining ore grades

Codelco learned recently that the Chilean government ruled out providing the copper producer with $3 billion in funds that were to be earmarked for improving copper mine grades.

Investment funds of around $20 billion are needed, while the company already holds more than $19 billion in debt on its balance sheet, according to press reports.

First Quantum explores Zambian copper mine expansion

According to a company document viewed by Reuters in December, Canadian miner First Quantum, may invest $1 billion to boost declining production at the Kansanshi mine, the largest copper mine in Zambia. The mine is a joint venture majority-owned by a First Quantum subsidiary.

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

The investment plan will boost output to 300,000 tons per year, compared to an estimated 235,000 tons mined at the location in 2019.

First Quantum mined 192,510 tons of copper during Q3 2019 in total across all sites, up by 27% compared to Q3 2018, according to company reporting.

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