This Morning in Metals: U.S.-China phase one trade deal to be signed today

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. and China will ink the previously agreed “phase one” trade deal today, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is expected to be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate soon and China’s steel mills may be looking away from higher-grade iron ores.

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U.S., China to sign preliminary trade deal

After many turbulent months that saw an escalation of trade tensions, the U.S. and China are finally set to sign a so-called “phase one” trade deal today that, while it doesn’t mark an end to the trade war, at least constitutes a de-escalation.

The previously announced deal will see to the pullback of a planned $160 billion in tariffs by the U.S. in exchange for increased purchases of U.S. agricultural products by China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a record high and was up 0.53% to 29,093.62 as of late Wednesday morning.

McConnell says Senate vote on USMCA this week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is poised to vote on the USMCA this week, before the president’s impeachment trial begins, Politico reported.

The agreement was ratified by the Mexican Senate last year and is only pending approval in the U.S. and Canadian legislatures.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the USMCA in a bipartisan vote late last year.

Chinese steel mills moving away from high-grade iron ore?

According to Reuters, Chinese steel mills may move away from higher grades of iron ore this winter in an effort to preserve their margins.

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

In recent years, China has rolled out winter output cuts in an attempt to reduce pollution in its steelmaking hubs. However, this winter, in an effort to inject life into the economy, authorities are being more lenient about the environmental dictates, Reuters reported, opening the door for the use of lower-grade — and higher-polluting — iron ore.

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