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BHP boss takes aim at US trade stance after recording huge $8b profit

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BHP Billiton’s CEO Andrew MacKenzie has criticised America’s stance on trade with China, saying the nation’s retreat from a free-trade policy is “fundamentally flawed”.

His comments come after BHP recorded a huge underlying profit of $8.93 billion and paid out record dividends to shareholders.

Mr MacKenzie tells Ross Greenwood despite trade tensions between China and the US, there’s “lots of good news coming” from the Chinese economy.

“They’re very environmentally conscious. They want to clean up China and that means they have to make their industry more efficient, their steel industry more efficient.

“The way they do that is by buying much more higher quality iron ore and metallurgical coal and that’s the product that Australia and BHP provide in large quantities.

“We will win more of that market share.”

Trade talks between China and the US will take centre stage this week, as officials meet to discuss the further imposition of tariffs.

It’s not expected much will come of the discussions, as the US threatens to impose tariffs of over $200 billion on Chinese imports.

Mr MacKensive says the Trump Administration’s policy is “fundamentally flawed” and consumers won’t stand for it.

“Pretty quickly consumers around the world are going to figure out this is bad news for them.

“They’re paying higher prices, they’re seeing jobs disappear in protected economics and the pushback will come.”

He says he would rather the trade wars “didn’t happen” but damage from the tensions won’t adversely affect BHP long-term.

Click PLAY below for the full interview