Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

This is going to be a crucial week for the steel industry and especially for those trading in foreign steel. As many of you know, President Trump set an expiration date to the country exclusions of May 1, 2018. That is Tuesday, so we should know more about what is going to happen over the next 36 to 48 hours.

We have been hearing that Brazil is close to agreeing to a quota on imports. We are hearing the quota may be 100 percent of the three-year average of slabs (which are used by the domestic mills) and 70 percent for the balance of the steel products.

Europe took a stronger stance, refusing to negotiate until their countries were provided with a permanent exclusion from the Section 232 tariffs. Both the French and German leaders have been pleading their case directly to Trump in recent days. The expectation is for the EU to get an extension.

So, we will all be watching Washington, D.C., on Monday and Tuesday for direction.

A note to those interested in learning more about trade and trade issues, at the end of August trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz will join us on the podium and will address the many questions you might have on the subject. We will also have Grant Aldonas, former Under Secretary of Commerce during the Bush administration. Aldonas was responsible for overseeing the Section 201 restrictions on steel in the early 2000s. You can join us in Atlanta on Aug. 27-29 for our 8th SMU Steel Summit Conference by going to or by contacting our office at 772-932-7538.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has another decision, which will be coming down this week. Late last week, one of our readers inquired as to the status of the Chinese circumvention case, for which a final ruling was due last week. We reached out to Lewis Leibowitz to see what we could learn from him. He told us, “Last week, Commerce announced a delay in the final determination for one week, to May 2, 2018. The decision will be announced around noon on May 3.” So, we will have more on this topic the evening of May 3.

Lastly, our Steel 101 workshop has about 3-5 seats still available. The workshop is in Memphis, Tenn., at the Westin in downtown Memphis (home of the blues and bar-b-que), and we will tour two Nucor mills: Nucor Hickman and Nucor-Yamato. You can find more details on our website: or by contacting our office at 800-432-3475.

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

John Packard, Publisher

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