Trudeau Carbon Plan Will Hurt Investment, Fertilizer Maker Says

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate plan makes it difficult for the nutrient sector to invest in Canada, and could drive more production to China, according to the head of U.S.-based CF Industries.

Tony Will, chief executive officer of the Deerfield, Illinois-based nitrogen producer, said Thursday that he’s looked at expansion in Canada -- where it already has some operations -- but the labor costs and “governmental actions” make any investment challenging.

“The Trudeau government and some of their carbon backstop legislation makes it really challenging for us to want to put any kind of new capital up there right now,” Will said on the company’s third quarter earnings call. “They’re doing things that are really anti-business and make it very difficult for us to want to spend money in that particular area.”

The world needs nutrient production and it could end up being driven to China if other plants shut down, he said. Trudeau’s carbon plan, unveiled last month, will tax fuel and also the outputs of big emitters in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

Nitrogen fertilizers are one of four sectors identified by the federal government as facing high competitive risk. As a result, it’s set to face a less onerous standard: 10 percent of current average emissions would be subject to the tax beginning next year, compared with 20 percent in other big-emitting sectors.

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