SMM10, March 17: the chief executive of the world's largest miner urges governments to work together to protect international trade.
BHP Billiton (BHP Billiton Ltd.) "the current global trading system is affected by a trade war and will also force countries outside this dispute to take action," Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive, said at a shareholder meeting on Wednesday. Now is not the time to watch the fire from side by side. When there is friction in the global trade structure, we must work together to eliminate risks.
BHP Billiton, the largest exporter of ore to China, has been bluntly critical of growing protectionist policies that could dampen global economic growth.
Prices of metals from nickel to zinc have fallen in recent months amid fears that rising trade tensions between China and the US will hurt demand for industrial commodities.
"We all know that protectionism has negative effects on enterprises," Mackenzie said in his speech. It weakens market confidence, disrupts investment and undermines productivity, which is the biggest driver of job and wealth creation and poverty eradication.
However, the company said trade tensions had not had a significant impact on its business.
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