China tension seen hurting progress on steel tariffs
M O N T R E A L • Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute is distracting from talks aimed at solving the steel tariffs issue between Canada and its largest trading partner.
At an event in Montreal Friday, Morneau said the Americans’ Pacific trade row puts “multiple challenges on their plate.”
“That means we’ve got a challenge in getting this focused on in the near term,” he said.
Morneau said his office is in contact daily with U.S. officials as well as metal producers and purchasers, but could not offer a timeline for an end to the tariffs.
U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent on steel and aluminum imports, respectively, from Canada in May, prompting retaliatory tariffs by Canada on $16.6 billion worth of U.S. goods.
Meanwhile, American tariffs against China have triggered a tit-for-tat trade war affecting hundreds of billions of dollars in goods over the past year.
And the Dec. 1 arrest of Chinese telecom Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer threatens to sour negotiations with Beijing.
agreed to buy the Finnish athletic-gear maker whose brands include Wilson tennis rackets, for about 4.6 billion euros (US$5.2 billion).
The consortium, which includes Chinese buyout firm FountainVest Partners, will offer shareholders a cash consideration of 40 euros a share, it said in a statement Friday. The price represents a 14-per-cent premium over the Finnish company’s closing stock price on Wednesday, and is almost double Amer’s valuation a year ago.
Significant minority investors in the consortium also include Chip Wilson, the billionaire founder of yogaapparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc., and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.
The consortium on Thursday signed a 2.2 billion-euro, five-year loan to partly back the acquisition, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.
Anta said in September it had teamed up with FountainVest to make an indicative offer for Amer at 40 euros a share. That news sent Amer stock soaring 19 per cent, its biggest one-day jump ever.
Anta, China’s biggest athletic-apparel producer, has been working to increase its business overseas and is seeking acquisitions of wellestablished global brands. The Chinese government is pushing to expand in sports ranging from soccer to skiing, as well as the industries that supply equipment for competitors and weekend enthusiasts.
Amer’s portfolio of wellknown brands, including Salomon ski boots, is an attractive prospect for Anta ahead of coming Olympic Games in Asia. Beijing will host the Winter Olympics in 2022, providing a springboard for sales of skis and snowboards, while the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo will offer a showcase for other Amer brands.
The Finnish company also sells Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Arc’teryx outdoor gear and Atomic winter equipment. Its shares were halted Friday pending the announcement.