Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

For those of you waiting for the PowerPoint presentation of our flat rolled steel market trends analysis, we should have it on the site either tomorrow afternoon (Monday) or on Tuesday. Brett has been on vacation and he is our master number cruncher.

I want to thank Lewis Leibowitz for all of the help he has been providing to me personally and to our readers. Lewis has been providing an update on Section 232 litigation, trade issues and other important developments that are affecting the free trade of steel and other goods into the United States. On Friday, Lewis provided the following insights regarding the court’s decision on the Severstal Export request for an injunction on the 232 tariffs. Here is what Lewis had to say:

“Today, April 6, the U.S. Court of International Trade (Jane Restani, J.) denied a preliminary injunction in the case of Severstal Export v. United States.  The court found that the probability of success on the merits for the plaintiffs in that case was ‘very low,’ and that the showing of irreparable harm was not sufficient to overcome the weak showing on the merits. 

“This case challenged the constitutional authority of the president to proclaim the 25 percent steel tariffs.  The Commerce report underlying the proclamation was not extensively discussed.  However, there have been numerous articles claiming that the tariffs are based on a weak or non-existent national security foundation.

“The Severstal case will continue to wend its way through the court process.  A final decision could take several months.  Other cases could be filed—if a plaintiff alleges serious and immediate irreparable harm, that plaintiff could obtain a preliminary injunction against application of the tariffs to that plaintiff.  Nationwide relief is unlikely, however.

“The underlying Commerce Department report has not been subject to judicial review as yet. 

I will keep you posted on developments. The opinion issued on April 6 is available on the website of the Court of International Trade:

If your company is filing/has filed for relief from the application of the tariffs, please let us know:

Registrations continue in full earnest for our 8th SMU Steel Summit Conference, which will be held in Atlanta on Aug. 27-29, 2018. We now have more than 250 executives registered and I noticed that we are already close to selling out the Marriott Gateway Hotel room block. We were restricted from booking the number of rooms we wanted for 2018 due to plans the hotel had for renovations. My understanding is those renovations have been pushed to September and we are trying to increase our room block. There are still plenty of rooms at the SpringHill Suites and Rennaisance Gateway hotels, but I would not wait too long to book your rooms.

A reminder about travel plans into and out of ATL airport. You will want to arrive by noon on Monday, Aug. 27, as our program will begin at 1:30 PM at the Georgia International Convention Center (not the Marriott). We will have three segments on Monday: “Ask Lewis” with trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz, a segment on the digital transformation of how steel will be bought and sold in the future with Kloecker’s CEO Gisbert Ruhl from Germany, and then further discussion on “big data” or digital transformation and how your company can begin the process, questions to ask, etc. with CEO Steve Pratt. We will have one other panelist with Steve who will be announced soon. At 4 PM, there will be a cocktail/networking party at the convention center (not the Marriott) hosted by Steel Dynamics. Later that evening (after dinner on your own), there will be many attendees congregating at the Marriott Gateway Hotel bar in the lobby, as well as at the other hotels next to the convention center.

You will want to stay for the entire program, which will end at 3 PM ET on Wednesday, Aug. 29. We will have two special presentations at the end of the program worth staying for: Ron Insana, political and economic commentator from CNBC, will discuss how the mid-term elections, trade negotiations and other political involvement will impact your business in 2019 and beyond. After Insana, we will have a special SMU program about how we can help your company deal with the chaos confronting manufacturing and distribution industries. We will have a special guest joining us who will be announced soon. Try to plan your outbound flight for 5 PM ET departure or later if at all possible.

We are also working on potentially having a one-day program on Thursday, Aug. 30, on hot rolled and scrap futures trading. This workshop would be focused on those who have some familiarity with futures. I should have more details on this “new” workshop over the next couple of weeks.

I want to take a moment to welcome all of our new members who have joined SMU in the past month. As with all of our members, I encourage you to ask questions and make suggestions on how we can get better (or what you would like to see us cover). You can do that by contacting us at You can use that same email address if you have questions about the website or about our conference or any of our workshops.

As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, Publisher

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