Afternoon Coffee: Trump Prepares to Finalize Tariffs, Apple Reports Labor Violations in Supplier Audit

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President Trump is expected Thursday to finalize new tariffs on steel and aluminum that may include exemptions for Canada and Mexico, the New York Times reports. The signing ceremony for the declaration is expected to take place Thursday afternoon, and the tariffs could go into effect within 15 to 30 days.

To learn more about the potential impact of the Section 232 report on the metals you buy — from stainless steel to carbon steel, primary aluminum, semi-finished aluminum and more — check out MetalMiner’s special report, “Section 232 Impact by Scenario on Aluminum, Stainless Steel and Steel Prices.

Apple Audit 

A supplier audit at Apple has found a higher number of serious labor and environmental violations than it expected based on last year’s examination, according to Reuters. Apple found “44 ‘core violations’ of its labor rules in 2017, double the previous year. Those included three instances of employees forced to pay excessive fees for a job, a practice Apple banned in 2015.”

Brexit Stockpiling 

Many U.K. manufacturers are considering whether to build up stocks of production materials and expand storage capacity as fears of Brexit-related trade delays mount, Bloomberg reports. Airbus, for example, said last week that it may have to stock up on parts it needs to build wings at its U.K. plants to avoid disruptions.

U.S. Imports 

And finally, a trade update: the U.S. trade deficit widened in January to its largest monthly level in nine years, the Wall Street Journal reports. The U.S. trade gap in goods and services expanded 5.0% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $56.6 billion in January.

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