Trump Sends Metal Prices Tumbling Again

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Not to be confused with Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the Trump regime has temporarily lifted sanctions on Rusal Plc, a Russian metal company whose majority shareholder is Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch linked to Trump's former campaign managers Paul Manafort and Rick gates.

Temporarily lifting sanctions on Rusal means Deripaska's company will have an opportunity to dump their stock on the market.

Not surprisingly, this sent the market tumbling this afternoon.

Aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange tumbled more than 8 percent after the U.S. Treasury Department announcement, which gives Rusal longer to sell off large quantities of aluminum it had been stockpiling in the wake of sanctions.

Shares in Rusal, one of the world’s largest aluminum companies, rose 13 percent on the Moscow Exchange after the announcement. Earlier, Rusal had ended Hong Kong trading down 8.4 percent. Shares of its U.S. rival Alcoa Corp slid 12 percent.

Although this is not directly related to Trump's tariffs, this is the third time Trump has sent metal prices tumbling over the past couple months.

Prices plummeted when Trump announced that Mexico and Canada would be exempt from his tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and again when he announced that the European Union (EU) would be exempt.

You might call this ironic because the whole point of implementing tariffs was to raise prices and boost American metal producers, but everything Trump has done since the tariffs were first announced has led to lower prices.

We are shocked -- shocked! -- that the Trump regime is completely incoherent.

  • Badgerite

    Well, there is one consistent thread. He always gives the Putin connected Russian Oligarch and mob boss a way out.
    He’s predictable that way.

    • 1933john

      Yeah, it’s a real pisser!

  • muselet

    On the one hand, delaying the imposition of sanctions—even temporarily—on Rusal makes the US look weak and directionless. It also creates havoc on the metals exchanges and gives Oleg Deripaska a substantial windfall profit.

    On the other hand:

    European leaders have worked to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to ease sanctions on Russia, with the president of France poised to visit the White House this week.

    Mnuchin said “impact on our partners and allies” factored into the reprieve. French sources said initial feedback had been “constructive.”

    Damn. Someone in this White House is actually listening to someone who’s not a host on “Fox & Friends.” Catch me, I might faint.

    My five bucks says nobody in the administration could coherently explain why sanctions were imposed in the first place or why they’re to be suspended temporarily.