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Metal Suppliers News October 2018

Trump’s legacy of tariffs and exclusions rumbles on. A stainless steel 3D printed bridge takes shape in Amsterdam. And a couple of brass thieves are caught stealing from a cemetery. Here is the news.

Amsterdam’s innovative 3d printed bridge

Amsterdam is now the proud owner of an extraordinary stainless steel bridge, which has been 3D printed to cross one of the city’s oldest and best-loved canals. 3D print start-up MX3D equipped four huge six-axis industrial robots with special tools and developed the software, which printed the 12.5m long, 6.3m wide bridge over six months. Now the new bridge is being load-tested. It just goes to show how fast 3D print tech is developing, and how molten metals can be printed just as effectively as plastics. It might take a while but the results are truly incredible.

Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs continue to cause pain

As aluminium plate suppliers we’re always keen top know what’s going on in the sector. It’s sad to see Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs and the resulting trade war are still having an impact. The US Department of Commerce is busy examining thousands of applications for exclusions and a total of 1,35,872 steel and 4,711 aluminium exclusion requests have been filed so far.

9,057 steel exclusion decisions have been made, with 5,954 approved, and 508 decisions made on aluminium exclusions with 385 approved. It must be maddening for those who are still waiting for a decision, waiting in limbo.

Some unlucky manufacturers were hit particularly hard. One family run US steel business had steel tubing shipments en route when Trump announced the tariffs. Worse still it was a really big order, and they were forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in tariffs. It almost broke them.

The company had submitted a number of exemption requests that they wanted to be retroactive to the submission date, but they’ve had no joy so far. They are also stuck at the U.S. Customs end of things, waiting for the correct import code. In their opinion the Section 301 tariffs they face are leading to industry-wide price hikes in the frozen foods sector, where he sells most of his products, and the increases will soon be reflected in the price of food in the USA.

Trump’s Section 232 tariffs set to stay

The US, Canadian and Mexican governments have all finally reached a last-minute accord on free trade. But the president’s unpopular Section 232 tariffs on aluminium and steel will stay for the foreseeable future. The reasoning goes like this: the country faces issues around national security and defence that are specific to aluminium and steel, which means they’re highly unlikely to change and there’s certainly no timeline for their removal.

Trump tackled the matter at a press conference, confirming the tariffs are here to stay but claiming they could ultimately be swapped for quotas. He believes doing so will protect US industry. Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, said there was light at the end of the tunnel, with negotiations on the cards. He says eliminating steel and aluminium tariffs remains a priority for Canada and Mexico, and he claims the US says it remains willing to work the problem out.

Louisville cemetery brass thieves charged

Two men from Louisville, USA, have been accused of stealing 17 brass urns and markers from graves in the town’s cemetery and attempting to sell them for scrap. The men were arrested, then charged with theft and violating graves at Evergreen Cemetery. The Louisville Metro Police spotted the two men trying to sell the urns, some of which were engraved with the names of the dead, at the Rusty Rooster Recycling site for $300 apiece.

The aluminium market is looking buoyant

Reuters says the price of aluminium jumped to its highest in over three months this week following an announcement made by Brazil’s Norsk Hydro plant, which is temporarily shutting down its Alunorte alumina refinery following an outage. Now shortages might be on the cards as the alumina market experiences tight supply.

We’ll see you next time. In the meantime, as aluminium extrusion suppliers and providers of a wide range of metals we’ve got plenty, top quality aluminium products included.

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