This Morning in Metals: E.U. eyes potential tariffs on stainless steel from China, Taiwan, Indonesia

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Andrey Kuzmin/Adobe Stack

This morning in metals news, the European Union has registered flat-rolled stainless steel imports from a trio of Asian countries in what could be a prelude to tariffs, China’s Jingye Group plans to cut 500 jobs as part of its British Steel takeover and manufacturers look to adapt to business conditions in the years ahead.

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E.U. could add flat-rolled stainless tariffs

The E.U. has directed customs officials to register flat-rolled stainless steel imports from a trio of Asian countries — China, Taiwan and Indonesia — Bloomberg reported, a move that opens the door for potential backdated tariffs on the products.

As the report notes, the E.U. is also investigating whether manufacturers in China and Indonesia have benefited by illegal subsidies.

Jingye to cut 500 jobs in British Steel takeover

To the displeasure of local unions, Chinese buyer Jingye Steel plans to cut about 500 jobs as part of its British Steel takeover, The Guardian reported.

Preservation of jobs within the Scunthorpe-based steelmaker — including thousands of others along the supply chain — has been a point of emphasis since the firm went into liquidation in May 2019.

According to the report, the GMB, United and Community unions reached an agreement with Jingye over pay, terms and conditions but balked at proposed job cuts.

Manufacturers aim to improve agility, digital visibility

The business world as a whole is changing rapidly — the same is true for the manufacturing sector.

In a guest post on MetalMiner’s sister site SpendMatters, Frank McKay, senior vice president and chief procurement officer at Jabil Inc., weighed in on challenges manufacturers face and what they will need to do to weather those challenges.

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

“Sourcing materials and components from multiple parties has never been more critical,” McKay wrote. “This will be an ongoing concern in 2020. Diversifying suppliers, by materials provided as well as geographic location, will grow in importance.”

In addition, manufacturers must also continue to seek to diversify their geographic footprint, particularly away from China “to reduce exposure to lingering trade issues.”

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