BHP Billiton believes that the new U.S. tariffs have limited impact on the steel market

- Mar 27, 2018 -

Global mining giant BHP Billiton expects to analyze the US steel import tariffs will have a limited impact on the steel market and the company, and that there will be no chain reaction from other countries.

Arnoud Balhuizen, chief business officer of BHP Billiton, said in an interview, “I think the direct impact of U.S. tariffs on steel is quite insignificant, because the U.S. itself is not a large country that produces steel, and the new tariff will have a smaller direct impact on BHP Billiton, because Asia Steel exports to the United States are limited, but BHP Billiton is the largest exporter of steelmaking materials such as iron ore and coal."

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Earlier this month, U.S. President Trump increased tariffs on steel imports by 25% and aluminum import tariffs to 10%. Other countries are striving for tariff exemptions or considering retaliatory measures. The head of the WTO warned last week that the move could trigger retaliation from other countries and lead to unforeseen consequences.

Balhuizen also said that he actively believes that large-scale retaliation will not happen because countries with diplomatic and communicative awareness will make wise decisions. Balhuizen said: "Our view is very clear: Free trade is the lifeline of the world economy. We firmly believe that free trade is the necessary bridge for the economic development of both developed and developing countries."

In addition to steel, Balhuizen also said that BHP still believes that copper is the best choice for the rise of electric vehicles. BHP is looking for new copper reserves and is also looking for suitable buyers, as the demand for copper from electric vehicles will be three to five times that of traditional cars. Balhuizen also stated that nickel does not belong to BHP Billiton's core business, because its business is relatively small, and its handling procedures are more complex than upstream resource development. Balhuizen said, “BHP Billiton will be at the right time. Consider selling nickel-related businesses and projects at the right price."

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