Two consecutive debates between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, the two presidential nominees, have now seen the topic of Chinese steel crop up. It can be viewed as quite surprising that the nominees would opt to discuss international trade of Chinese steel; due to the fact in the grand scheme of things it’s not something that directly affects many potential voters.
In the second debate, trump had also brought up the matter of Chinese steel, however, this time it was Clintons turn to utilize the topic. “One of the biggest problems with China is the illegal dumping of steel and aluminium into our markets,” Clinton said in last Wednesday’s debate. Following on from this, she went onto attack Trump, targeting the fact that he had used cheap Chinese steel in his real-estate projects.
Clinton was referring to a continuing legal dispute between several Asian countries and other nations around the world over subsidies for steel. In June, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Chinese and Japanese subsidies were causing economic injury to the American steel industry. In August, the European Union imposed punishing tariffs on certain types of Chinese and Russian steel in retaliation.
On the contrary to popular belief, a number of researchers find that American citizen do not base their opinions of international trade on whether or not their jobs is within industries or occupations that are directly affected by competition from overseas.
Instead, research found that the attitude of American citizens is more closely related to America’s position and status on the global stage. Therefore, it would be on a reasonable to basis to assume that Clinton and Trump are discussing such a topic in a bid to lure citizens whom feel the power of the United States is declining.
Everyone knows the Brexit story; it’s been captivating every media source since the decision was made in June. The general consensus around the world is that it was a bad decision and that the British economy is going to suffer considerably, as a result. However, the British manufacturing industry is very much enjoying life after Brexit, in September the industry grew at its fastest pace since the middle of 2014.
The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index reading jumped to 55.4 in September, up from 53.3 in August, with any figure above 50 showing expansion. The result far exceeded the expectation of the cities analysts, whom predicted that the September readings would see a decline from August, with activity moderating at 52.1.
The manufacturing index had plummeted to 48.2 in July, immediately after the June referendum.But it surged the following month, helped by a jump in export orders on the back of the 10 per cent depreciation of sterling against the euro and the dollar in the immediate wake of the vote.
It’s believed the reason for the September surge was a high-number of domestic orders; however, exports did also increase slightly. The manufacturing industry is continuing to have a positive effect on the GDP and economic outlook of the country; all the signs are indicating that the country will avoid another recession.
Let’s get the answer out the way quickly; Elon Musk is incredibly influential. Musk is leading the way for clean energy. He is arguably the most talked about CEO in the world right now and there is a very real chance that the ideas and endeavours of this man are going to dictate the future of you and me. This article is going to briefly identify and give a synopsis of some of probably his 3 most influential investments thus far.
It would be foolish to start with anything but Tesla. Founded in 2003, Tesla has gone onto become one of the most talked about and sought after automotive names in the world, due to its commitment to clean energy. From the start Elon Musk has been a key player in the company and is now the CEO, with a 22% share of the company, making him by far the largest shareholder of the corporation. Tesla, led by Elon Musk are revolutionizing the motor industry, paving the way for electric vehicles to one day be the common car and fade out the need for fossil fuel dependent motor vehicles. Believe us when we say this, the shift is happening at a staggering pace, the Model 3 is by far one of the most eagerly anticipated vehicles in history, considering it’s not due for release until mid to late 2017, it’s already received an incredible 400’000 pre-orders. It’s estimated that vehicle orders so far accumulate to approximately $10 billion. The world’s biggest automotive companies have felt the presence of Tesla and are being forced to innovate their own electric cars – as of yet, none have come close to threatening Tesla’s dominance.
The leading provider of solar energy in the United States, Californian based SolarCity are on a mission to shift consumers from utility based energy to that of solar. The company was founded in 2006 and at this moment, employs over 13’000 people. Although not a CEO or founder, Elon Musk has still been a major figurehead in the development of the company. He is currently the chairman and it was Musk who suggested to his cousins and current CEO’s about the potential of a solar company and has since provided them with support. However, with the rapid progression of Tesla, Musk now wants an even bigger hold and position within the company, which explains why Tesla Motors and Solar City together announced the former would be purchasing the latter, in a $2.6 billion merger deal. The deal is expected to be finalised and announced in November 2016. The collaboration does make perfect business sense.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (Space X)
Okay, so, if Elon Musk’s companies can’t save planet earth, then he is just going to fly us all to Mars instead. Unlike Tesla, Elon Musk has been the CEO of Space X from the very start, so if you asked him which company meant the most to him personally, he would probably point you in the direction of Space X. The business goal of Space X is really quite simple, to make humans a ‘multi-planetary’ species, Elon Musk wants to be the main that pioneered humans capabilities of living on multiple planets. In September 2016, Elon Musk announced Space X through the Interplanetary Transport System would carry at least 100 people to Mars and return more passengers. The company currently employs over 5’000 members of staff to pursue Musk’s ambition of having 1 million people living on Mars by 2035, through the utilization of thousands of rockets. Musk is famously quoted as saying “I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact’.
Whatever, your opinions of Musk, whether he is just in it for the money or he genuinely wants to be the man to save the human species, there is no denying the innovation and courage of this man is of great benefit to planet earth.
The world continues to look for more efficient uses of renewable energies, as it becomes a genuine reality that global warming is very much a thing as indeed the fact that we will one day run out of fossil fuels. So, why is it that Germany are doing the opposite and actually looking to curb it’s incredibly successful wind farming sector?
Don’t fear, Germany have not suddenly become a suicidal nation whom are opposed to renewable energies. In fact, their decision to do such just highlights how sensational their fight for renewable energies has been. According to leaked plans from the German federal network agency, published on Tuesday in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the government has had to halve its original target for expanding its wind farms in the gale-beaten northern flatlands because it cannot extend its power grid quickly enough to the energy-hungry south.
In 2011, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel announced that the country will look to phase out the use of nuclear reactors by 2022 in favour of renewable energies, with many critics saying it highly ambitious and likely to be unattainable due to not being able to expandsolar and wind energies quick enough. However, five years later and renewable energies have given critics a big slap in the face with the capacity of the power grid not being able to handle the vast supply of northern wind farms. Rather humorously, the state is actually being forced to pay energy companies to turn their turbines off in order to prevent the congestion of the power grid.
Lengthy protests about the construction of large pylons led to Germany eventually signing off an agreement to construct the more expensive alternative of underground cabling from North to South, a decision which has caused initial plans for the vast project to be delayed by one and a half years.
As expected, the state’s decision to reduce their renewable energy plans has been met by a number of critics and controversy. Many believe that the state’s decision to take what is deemed by many as a negative step in their renewable energies surge, will hinder the countries standing as a global pioneer for renewable energies.
Whereas, others who agree that it was a responsible decision to tackle power grid congestion claim there were a number of other much more logical decisions that could have been taken and would have been equally effective. “A more forward-looking way to meet the current challenge would have been to shut down old power stations, extend the grid faster or invest more in innovative methods to use excess energy to heat homes,” said Arne Jungjohann, the author ofEnergy Democracy – Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables.
Great work on the renewable energies front Germany, no one can argue your commitment to the cause in recent years. However, perhaps listen to Arne Jungjohann in future, he makes a good point.
After it was announced on Friday that the EU had set higher import duties on two popular steel products from China, the country has hit back labelling the investigation methods as ‘unfair’. China’s commerce ministry have led the protests against the decision, labelling it “unfair and unreasonable” and “seriously damages the interests of Chinese enterprises”, due to it being a method commonly used against non-market economies.
The duties have been imposed after recent outcries of concern over the declining state of European steel industry; Britain alone has seen 5’000 jobs axed this year, primarily down to the collapse of Tata Steel UK. The EU has largely blamed China for the declining European Steel market, accusing them of dumping ludicrously cheap steel on the market, which doesn’t give competitors the opportunity to compete.
However, China who is the suppliers of 50% of the world’s steel and the largest consumer of steel, have claimed that the accusations are unjust, considering Chinese steel products represent just 5% of the European Market and have said weak economic growth is the reason behind said problems. “China hopes the EU will strictly respect relevant World Trade Organization rules and fully guarantee Chinese companies’ right to protest,” the ministry said.
The EU’s duties are set at between 13.2 and 22.6 percent for hot-rolled flat iron and steel products and at between 65.1 and 73.7 percent for heavy plate steel.
The war of trade between the EU and China doesn’t look like ending any time soon, considering the EU are still debating whether to grant china ‘market economy’ status, something China firmly argues is a given right considering in December they will have been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for 15 years. The commission has said that China is not a market economy and that it would not recognize it as such, but would adopt a new method to set duties that would abide by WTO rules.
The EU has imposed import duties of up to 73.7% on cheap Chinese Steel being imported into the European Union; the penalty has come about in response to manufacturers being forced to cut jobs after a flurry of cheap imports from China.
Britain has been one of the worst hit places within the EU, with thousands of jobs already being lost this year and many more seriously under threat. Many of the industryleaders put cheap imported steel as the primary reason for this claiming that such cheap prices are making it increasingly difficult to find buyers domestically.
The EU has agreed to impose import duties of between 13.2% and 22.6% on Chinese hot-rolled steel, which is used in pipelines and gas containers, and 65.1% and 73.7% on heavy plates, which are used in civil engineering projects. UK Steel, the trade body for the industry has welcomed the much needed tariffs but has warned that the levy on hot-rolled steel might still not be enough and could fail to deter the dumping of cheap steel.
David Martin, Labour MEP for Scotland, said the tariffs may be “too little too late” for the UK industry.
Martin, the international trade spokesman for the Socialist and Democrats group in the European parliament, said: “The commission has recognized that Chinese dumping is having a real, damaging effect on EU steel producers and the communities supported by them.
“However, whilst the tariffs on heavy-plate steel are at a workable level, the duties on hot-rolled steel – a crucial product of Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant – won’t deter Chinese steelmakers from further dumping. I sincerely hope these duties will be revised upwards at a later date.
The future of Port Talbot and Tata Steel’s 11,000 UK staff remains unclear as the Indian company considers a merger with German group ThyssenKrupp and tries to negotiate a rescue package with the UK government.
Regardless of if the tariff is high enough; it is going to be an interesting few months within Europe to see the effects of the newly installed charges. One would assume that if the results do not meet expectation, then EU will be quick to impose further tariffs.