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Wittbecker pointed out that Century Aluminum, one of the two companies pushing for tariffs on Canadian aluminum, counts the Swiss metals trader and miner Glencore Plc as its largest shareholder — 47 per cent — and a major business partner that accounted for 65 per cent of Century’s consolidated revenue in 2019.
In April, Glencore disclosed a $16.3-billion agreement with Russian aluminum producer Rusal under which it will purchase up to 6.9 million tonnes of the metal through 2025. Glencore also owns a stake in Rusal parent company En+.
The company also has major operations across Canada, including nickel, zinc, copper and coal and partnerships with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the British Columbia Investment Management Board to operate Viterra, which handles, processes and markets agricultural commodities, such as grains and oilseeds.
A spokesman for Glencore did not respond to a request seeking comment.
Wittebecker said that Glencore, and other metal traders, would benefit from a tariff on Canadian aluminum because it would likely cause the prices in the U.S. to rise.
“It will mean that the Russian metal coming in (to the U.S.) will have a much better chance of making money,” he said. “It’ll be good for Glencore, it’ll be good for domestic U.S. producers and it’ll be good for non-exempt countries currently importing in to the U.S.”