The Great Lakes report


As gasworld wrote in last month’s edition, newly introduced steel tariffs have been making headlines in the US and globally, with a trade war in-the-making rapidly being realized. The tariffs had been mooted for some time, with the prospect of such protectionism from the Trump Administration a central topic throughout much of 2017.

President Trump first formally announced plans for the tariffs in March (2018), but subsequently granted some exemptions while countries negotiated. With the verdict in recent weeks that not enough progress had been made to warrant a further reprieve, the new tariffs – 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum – have now effectively come into force, applied to the kind of raw materials used extensively across the US manufacturing, construction and oil sectors. These are essentially plated steel, steel slabs and coil, rolls of aluminum and tubes.

The news was appropriately timed for gasworld US Edition’s focus on the Great Lakes this month, with gasworld Business Intelligence previously citing the region as potentially significantly affected by the tariffs in in reflection of proposed such protectionist measures last year. Home to the third-largest industrial gas market of the eight US regions, the Great Lakes region has a significant metallurgy market and large volumes of both nitrogen and oxygen are produced on a supply scheme basis, much of which is for the substantial steel industry chiefly located on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.

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