However, some mining executives say they would take the uncertainty surrounding steel from current U.S. trade policies in exchange for the tax breaks
In the middle of the U.S. desert, just east of Reno, Nevada, engineers and construction workers are preparing to sink a second shaft of what is likely to be North America’s next productive copper mine sometime next year — Nevada Copper Corp.’s Pumpkin Hollow underground mine.
And yet headwinds are blowing as U.S. tariffs and sanctions threaten to whip up a global trade war, and erode mining companies’ margins just as many commodities prices are rising.
Mining companies operating in the U.S. hope to benefit from a more lax regulatory regime, and from recent tax reform that included major corporate breaks, are worried lingering uncertainty about trade and global economic growth could slow the industry.
“We’re watching very closely, and it’s concerning,” said Matthew Gili, chief executive of Toronto-based Nevada Copper. “There’s always the concern that we get tied up in some sort of negative trade environment … In the end, we produce for the world market. If we can’t produce freely for the world market, that is a risk.”
Among the immediate concerns for some mining companies is the 25 per cent duty on steel that the U.S. last week extended to apply to Canadian imports, as well as Mexico and Europe. Canada and Mexico have fired back with their own tariffs against the U.S., and other countries have signalled similar intentions.