This Morning in Metals: U.S. to appeal WTO panel decision in Indian steel dispute

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. plans to appeal a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel ruling related to its steel dispute with India, China’s crude steel production again hit a record high in 2019 and General Motors announced plans to invest $40 million at its Spring Hill Global Propulsion Systems plant in Tennessee.

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U.S. will appeal WTO compliance panel ruling

In its ongoing dispute with India over its tariffs on Indian hot-rolled carbon steel, the U.S. plans to appeal a WTO compliance panel ruling.

“On 18 December the United States, under Article 16 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding, notified the Dispute Settlement Body of its decision to appeal issues of law and legal interpretations developed by the WTO compliance panel in its report in the case brought by India in “United States — Countervailing Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India” (DS436),” the WTO announced.

However, as noted here before, the WTO appeals system is currently paralyzed and unable to make rulings, as the U.S. blocked the appointment of new judges. As of Dec. 10, with the expiration of the terms of two judges, the WTO’s Appellate Body currently has one sitting member (at least three are required to make rulings).

“The United States did not file a notice of appeal or an appellant submission because at this time no Division of the Appellate Body can be established to hear this appeal,” a joint communication from India and the U.S. dated Jan. 14 stated.

India argues the U.S.’s countervailing duties on its hot-rolled carbon steel exports are inconsistent with several provisions of the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement).

China’s steel production soars again in 2019

Despite government efforts to curb production — in an effort to mitigate pollution levels — China’s steel production in 2019 reached a record high for the second year in a row.

China produced 996.34 million tons of crude steel in 2019, according to National Bureau of Statistics data cited by Reuters.

GM to invest $40M in propulsion plant

This week, General Motors announced it will invest $40 million in its Spring Hill Global Propulsion Systems plant in Tennessee.

The investment aims to augment its capacity for 5.3L V8 engines (used in GM’s full-size trucks and SUVs).

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

“This investment further solidifies GM’s commitment to our team and jobs for our community,” said Michael Youngs, GPS plant director. “The Spring Hill Manufacturing team has a proven track record of successful, high quality launches, and when our products are in high demand by customers, this team is ready.”

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