BHP Billiton chairman warns of global ‘trauma’ if Trump puts tariffs on China – by Joshua Robertson (The Guardian – November 17, 2016)

Executives from the world’s largest mining company have urged Donald Trump to uphold the Paris climate pact, while warning the “whole world will be in trauma” if the incoming US president follows through on tariffs against China.

BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew McKenzie told shareholders in Brisbane that he hoped Trump maintained US support of the Paris agreement and built on crucial cooperation with China on climate action begun by his predecessor.

BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser said Trump’s pledge to apply 45% blanket tariffs on Chinese imports would trigger a damaging trade war but predicted this was part of his election campaign “rhetoric” which would not materialise.

Nasser also said it would take years for the mining giant to fully resolve the fallout from its Brazilian mine disaster, as advocates for devastated communities again raised concerns about the exclusion of some from a compensation process and with the pace of its environmental clean up.

The fallout from the Samarco mine disaster, along with plummeting oil and iron ore prices have wreaked havoc with BHP Billiton’s bottom line with the Anglo-Australian mining giant posting a record full-year loss of $US6.39bn ($A8.29bn) in August.

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