This week, Durig Capital reviews one of the leading producers of steel products in the United States. AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) produces steel for the automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. There has been much talk of bringing back manufacturing jobs to the U.S., especially in the production and manufacturing of steel. AK Steel is one of the companies trying to ensure continued heavy manufacturing capabilities within the United States. It recently reported its second quarter results (for the three months ending June 30, 2019) with the highlights (listed above).
One down, two to go. On Wednesday, the Mexican Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, becoming the first nation, of three, to ratify the new trade deal. The agreement was met with little resistance, relative speed, and enthusiastic celebration from the Mexican government upon ratification. That was the easy part. The USMCA still faces an uphill battle in Washington, and a race against time in Ottawa.
- U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto concluded fifteen months of often contentious talks on Friday, and formally signed the US-Mexico-Canada agreement, or USMCA, which will replace NAFTA.
- Canada remains concerned over steel and aluminum tariffs, imposed by Washington, and left unresolved in USMCA. Prime Minister Trudeau used the signing ceremony as another opportunity to urge President Trump to drop them.
- The agreement must now be ratified by the legislatures of each country, which is far from certain. In both the new and old Congress, USMCA faces considerable hurdles, with everyone finding something to dislike.
- Traditional business conservatives object to USMCA as moving North America further from free trade, and leaving the United States “with diminished trading opportunities, rather than expanded trading opportunities with Mexico and Canada.”
- Social conservatives view sexual orientation and gender identity protections, included at Canada’s insistence, as a loss for American sovereignty.
- The president, and his supporters, are hailing USMCA’s signing as nothing less than a win for America.