Author Archives: JP Morris

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U.S. adds aluminum sheet tariffs to 18 countries

The U.S. is imposing tariffs on aluminum sheet imports from array of countries that the Commerce Department sees as trying to exploit the lack of Chinese aluminum in the U.S. market after tariffs were placed on it in 2018, according to USAToday.

The tariffs “will range from the single digits for Bahrain to anywhere from 52% to 132% for Germany,” the article states.

The affected countries exported $2 billion in aluminum in 2019, the USAToday article reports. The tariffs target Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey.

Do you use cost breakdowns in your steel negotiations? See other tips in negotiating with mills and service centers

Aluminum Association CEO Tom Dobbins said in a statement: “The Commerce Department’s findings confirm that foreign producers relied on artificially low prices to rapidly increase their aluminum sheet exports to the United States, just as unfairly traded imports from China were beginning to withdraw from the market.”

Hurricane slows oil, gas production

Hurricane Delta hobbled oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico as it approached and made landfall Friday in Louisiana, but energy companies were returning crews to offshore sites to assess damage and restart operations, Reuters reports. As of Sunday, 91% of oil production and 62% of natural gas production were idled by the hurricane, Reuters reports.

Caterpillar eyes driverless machinery to blunt COVID crisis

Caterpillar’s autonomous driving technology, which can be added to machines, is helping the U.S. heavy equipment maker mitigate the slow sales on its main machinery because of the coronavirus crisis, Reuters reports.

“With both small and large customers looking to protect their operations from future disruptions, demand has surged for machines that don’t require human operators on board,” the article states.

“Sales of Caterpillar’s autonomous technology for mining operations have been growing at a double-digit percentage clip this year compared with 2019, according to previously unreported internal company data shared with Reuters. By contrast, sales of its yellow bulldozers, mining trucks and other equipment have been falling for the past nine months.”

Mining giant Rio Tinto signed a deal with Caterpillar last year for self-driving trucks, autonomous blast drills, loaders and other machines for the construction of the Koodaideri iron ore mine in Australia, Reuters reports.

Are you on the hook for communicating the company’s steel performance to the executive team? See what should be in that report!

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In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. will bar travel from Europe for 30 days, beginning late Friday, said U.S. President Donald Trump in an Oval Office address to the nation Wednesday night.

He said the U.K., which recently separated from the European Union after the prolonged Brexit debate, is not part of the ban.

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