EU vs. USA: Steel tariff dispute threatens to escalate again
EU vs. USA: Steel tariff dispute threatens to escalate again

11 December 2023 – The steel tariff dispute between the EU and the US threatens to escalate again. Brussels is already considering reviving its case against Section 232 at the WTO – allegedly as a preventative measure. A clear threat to Washington? And the USA is in truck fever: orders for lorries are going through the roof!

EU vs. USA: Steel tariff dispute threatens to escalate again

Brussels is piling on the pressure: WTO proceedings as a trump card

The EU is tightening the thumbscrews: According to media reports, the European Union is considering reopening its WTO case against the USA over the Section 232 steel tariffs. A clear signal to Washington!

Watch out, threat!

The EU is toying with the idea of reintroducing the suspended punitive tariffs should the negotiations in the steel dispute fail. A clear warning shot to the USA: if the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium (GASSA) collapses, things could really hit the fan.

Will this impress the USA? Doubts are justified

The question is whether this threat can really impress the US government in the midst of the pre-election campaign for the 2024 presidential election. And doesn’t the EU Commission risk tripping itself up? European stubbornness is currently not going down well either in the US or worldwide.

Member states sceptical?

The Commission’s hard line and a possible escalation in the steel and aluminium dispute is also likely to meet with little approval within the EU member states. Whether Brussels will realise this, however, remains to be seen.

Clear words from Gerber Steel CEO

Thorsten Gerber, CEO of the Gerber Group, puts it in a nutshell: “Don’t the simpletons in Brussels have anything better to do than constantly argue?” He demands: “We need constructive work and new opportunities instead of ruining everything.” A clear statement that shows: The business community is anything but enthusiastic about Brussels’ zigzagging course.

USA in truck fever: orders are going through the roof!

America loves its trucks: record orders in November

The truck market is booming in the USA: almost 42,000 trucks were ordered in November – an increase of seven per cent compared to the previous year and a whopping 10,000 more than in October. The last time order figures were this high was in September 2022.

2024 will be the year of trucks

Orders for 2024 already stand at an impressive 413,000 trucks. Despite a cooling economy, this figure is well above the 250,000 vehicles that are usually ordered each year to replace old trucks.

The order boom is driving shares upwards

The order books are overflowing: In November, the order book rose by 16,000 to 181,000 trucks – roughly equivalent to global truck production in the first half of the year. A hot tip from Deutsche Bank for share fans: truck manufacturer shares remain a real bargain with price/earnings ratios of between four and eight.

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