Trump activated a long-dormant clause in Cuba trade war — and it’s starting to hurt Canadian companies – by Naomi Powell (Financial Post – November 5, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Sherritt International is suffering from a ratcheting up of U.S. restrictions on everything from financial transactions, to travel and shipping

Tougher U.S. sanctions on Cuba squeezed Sherritt International in the third quarter, disrupting the supply of diesel to its nickel mine on the island and casting doubt over the timing of key payments in foreign currency.

The Toronto based firm, which operates the Moa mine as a joint venture with the Cuban government, was forced to adopt conservation measures including running fewer mining trucks as U.S. sanctions on oil shipments worsened an acute fuel shortage.

The measures reduced production of mixed sulphite, though nickel production was unaffected. Mixed sulphides production is now back on track and access to fuel supply returned to normal in the fourth quarter, the company said in a call with investors Friday.

Meantime, the Trump administration’s attempts to unsettle business in the Communist run nation have stifled the flow of cash Cuba needs to pay Sherritt, which has taken pains to limit its direct exposure to American sanctions, including the recent activation of Title III of the Helms Burton Act.

“The U.S. sanctions continue to be a concern for us,” Sherritt chief executive David Pathe said in a call with analysts last week. “There is potential for further sanction increases in the months ahead and that does put further difficulty on our ability to forecast the timing of Cuban receivables, receipt of cash on Cuban receivables from our Cuban partners in the oil and power business.”

For the rest of this article: https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/trump-activated-a-long-dormant-clause-in-its-trade-war-with-cuba-and-its-starting-to-hurt-canadian-companies

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