U.S. News

According the Wall Street Journal, steel importers are winning most of their requests for tariff exclusions for products not found in the U.S., but manufacturers and importers say the process has inconsistencies and frequent procedural changes. As of December 17, the Commerce Department granted about 75% of 19,000 requests to exclude products from tariffs on foreign steel, covering about 16% of the finished foreign steel entering the U.S. in 2018. WSJ

Ryan Dezember from the Wall Street Journal reports that lumber futures have lost nearly half their value since hitting their peak on May 17, 2018. Among the causes for lumber’s collapse are oversupplied lumber yards and a cooling housing market due to rising interest rates and surging home prices. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that uncertainty will depress UK business investment and consumer spending in 2019, easing long-term growth even if Britain avoids a disorderly Brexit, according to a poll of economists. According to the poll, the best the UK can expect over the year is a continuation of modest 1.5% growth. FT

Emre Peker from the Wall Street Journal reports that the EU faces headwinds to fulfilling its promise to lower its trade surplus with the United States. The EU is negotiating with the U.S. to cut duties and red tape, and EU officials hope market forces will boost U.S. exports of soybeans and liquified natural to provide breathing room as talks continue. WSJ