Donald Trump “has a point” in criticizing China’s trade in aluminum and steel as cheap power has effectively been a subsidy to Chinese producers, said Glencore Plc chief Ivan Glasenberg.
Trump should be pragmatic in dealing with China, given that it imports a lot of U.S. goods, said Glasenberg during a Bloomberg Television panel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“China was producing coal and selling it to the power stations at a loss,” he said. “Aluminum companies were getting subsidized power.”
China’s trade practices have been under scrutiny since Trump swept into office earlier this year, with the president opening investigations into whether foreign steel and aluminum is damaging U.S. manufacturing enough to pose a national security threat. The results of the investigations will be published in June and the U.S. “will take major action if necessary,” he said on Twitter.
The steel and aluminum investigations could succeed in reinvigorating U.S. manufacturing of those commodities thanks to cheap energy from shale gas, Glasenberg said.
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