December 21, 2023 – The drama over steel tariffs between Europe and the United States continues, despite an agreement to extend the punitive tariff suspension until March 2025. Is the EU’s Safeguard measure on steel going into extension? British inflation continues to decline. And natural gas prices at their lowest since September 2021.
Drama Over Steel Tariffs! EU and USA at Odds – Extension Until 2025
Brussels/Washington D.C. – The steel dispute continues! After tough wrestling and failed negotiations between EU leaders and the White House: The controversial protective measures for European steel and aluminum are entering the next round. Has the EU secured a lifeline for Safeguard?
Hopes for a global steel and aluminum agreement (GASSA) between the EU and the USA have burst! At the end of October 2023: The talks are at an impasse. The way out? An extension of the strict quota regulations until at least the end of March 2025!
Greetings from the Trump era!
The EU protective measures, introduced in response to Trump’s infamous Section 232 tariffs of 2018, remain a hot topic. A strategic move by the EU? Exactly fitting the timetable for the controversial CO2 border tax, which will come into full force in 2026.
What does this mean for EU Safeguard?
The EU still has room for maneuver – but time is ticking! WTO rules limit safeguard measures to a maximum of eight years. The EU is already feverishly looking for alternatives to protect its steel industry.
Safeguard Lifeline from the USA?
The talks with the United States could have been the necessary lifeline to justify and implement a further Safeguard extension.
Significant Drop in British Inflation
In the UK, inflation has surprisingly fallen sharply – to the lowest level in two years. This is causing speculation: Will the Bank of England cut interest rates sooner and more sharply than thought? As a result: Yields on British government bonds are going down. Bond yields are falling in other countries as well.
Natural Gas Prices Plummet: Mild Winter Weather Eases Energy Costs
Natural gas is getting cheaper: At the Dutch TTF exchange, prices have hit a low since September 2023/2021. The electricity contract in Leipzig for Germany has also fallen to a two-year low. The cause is the mild winter weather in Central Europe. The storages are 89 percent full – by the end of March, they could still be 54 percent, provided the winter remains mild. Experts expect neither major price crashes nor spikes in natural gas.
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