E Market Briefing For Friday, March 9

Protecting and revitalizing American industry has not only been the 'topic du jour' this week; but a backbone of Trump's entire legitimization, as related to his candidacy; and even he knows it. The assault on once gullible manufacturers (or manipulated steadily even by a US Chamber of 'foreign' Commerce as I used to call it years ago) is being faded out. It is not an easy task, given how many decades the erosion persisted.

And it's trickier than ever; as exemplified by a Chinese reporter sadly in trouble now, as Police harass her for exposing Beijing's 'steely-held' top secret. That's China reducing capacity to comply with US demands for at least a token Billion move to improve the Trade Deficit, while everyone it seems forgot that the US and EU both imposed high taxes on cold-rolled steel (yes during Obama); and China simply lied.

They claimed 'compliance' but all they did was shift a promised 8 million metric tons cut in steel production, and the 10 million tons of iron ore, to export. It's rather evident in the accompanying chart. Reuters exposed firms doing this; with pollution on the rise again being a tip-off that restrictions weren't being followed.

The Steely Charade-Plot Thickens

So China ordered an 'investigation' (hah; they planned the transition) as a charade; although in a domestic sense for them, they had to allocate a chunk of production somewhere, or millions of steelworkers would lose their jobs. Hmmm... the USA never seemed to worry enough about steel workers here; until now. In fairness; the business was improving since a recalcitrant President Obama made an effort (262% tariff) on cold-rolled steel back in 2015. That's the inflection point where China started heavy closeted efforts to shift production, not only abroad, but within China.

So now, a CNBC (World) reporter, visiting one such 'said' steel-free town, found workers saying how they moved production and so on. Not new of course, but that the TV crew was harassed, interrogated and then driven (escorted) out of town, is typical of heavy-handed Chinese responses to 'truth-telling'.

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